The night’s main event was announced and, as I’m starting to write this, has yet to conclude. With a shot at the ECW title on the line, a triple threat match was scheduled. The competitors: Elijah Burke, CM Punk, and Shelton Benjamin. Let’s think about this for a second, folks. We’ve got a heel champion who has no history with either Burke or Benjamin. Who do YOU think is winning in the main event?
The night’s first match featured an interesting mix of wrestlers. Kofi Kingston teamed with Kelly Kelly to take on Santino Marella and Layla El. The match showcased everyone pretty well, except for Santino, who gets in three offensive moves for every two matches in which he competes. Still, he made his opponents look good, which is the mark of a great heel.
The finish came when Kelly hit the Diablo Drop (Fameasser) on Layla for the pinfall. Winners: Kofi Kingston and “Ms. Ass” Kelly Kelly. I kind of like how Layla is portrayed as the tougher of the two girls, despite being the heel. This makes it more meaningful when Kelly manages to beat her.
Stevie Richards took on Mike Knox. Knox tried to work over Richards’ neck and throat, targeting the sensitive area. They’re using Richards’ previous injuries to get fans to connect to his character. It’s a tale as old as time (or pro wrestling time, at least) and it usually works with veteran wrestlers. Oddly enough, Richards is a true veteran of the ECW brand.
Stevie won the match with the Stevie T. I’m not sure how far it will go, but I’m very glad to see Richards is getting this little push. He really deserves it.
Colin Delaney asked Tommy Dreamer if, once he wins a championship, he could get his own ring music. Ha!
Dreamer and Delaney faced The Miz and John Morrison in a non-title match. Colin actually got some offense was in, probably surprising some younger fans with how apt and agile he was in the ring.
Dreamer hit the DDT on Miz for the pinfall. Dreamer and Delaney won the match! This was Colin’s first win in WWE, and it got a decent reaction from the crowd. They probably could’ve held up on this a little longer, but not if these four will be facing off at WrestleMania.
For those of you who haven’t yet read, it’s been reported this week that Colin Delaney finally did sign a full-time contract with WWE. What a first year it would be for him if he and Dreamer got a title shot at WrestleMania. Can you imagine?
Meanwhile, Tommy Dreamer would be happy to have his first title shot in umpteen years. And a non-hardcore title championship match? UNHEARD OF! I might be hoping for too much here, but I’d love to see this team win the gold at WM 24.
Backstage segment showing dissent between Miz and Morrison. Looks like the title match will be next week along with Chavo vs. Punk…I mean Chavo and the winner of the main event.
The champs compared Dreamer and Delaney’s chances of winning the belts to Mayweather beating Big Show at Mania. Guess what, folks! Dreamer and Delaney are winning next week! Comments like that one are NEVER an accident, and you can be pretty sure that Miz and Morrison are dropping the belts next week. Also, with the title change in the opening match, this will create the illusion that Punk…err, Punk, Shelton, or Elijah…can win the ECW belt in the main event.
Seeing that this segment aired, my hopes for a WrestleMania ECW / Smackdown tag title match appear to be dashed. Still, we’ll see.
Chavo Guerrero came down to ringside to provide color commentary for the main event. I guess that means Tazz, who sang both “Centerfold” (J Geils Band) and “Here Comes Peter Cottontail” (Traditional?) in earlier parts of the show, had lost his credibility for the evening.
A quick lesson in tastefulness. Chavo Guerrero referring to the Guerrero family legacy: tasteful. Edge making out with Vickie Guerrero on camera: NOT tasteful. Now, to the action.
Punk and Burke looked a bit less fluid with each other than normal, at least at first. This, of course, got better. There was a great near-fall early on. After Punk took Burke out of the ring, Benjamin landed his finisher on Punk and, quite honestly, I almost thought I’d have egg on my face. Punk got his shoulder up, though, and we were taken to commercial – my confidence in my prediction renewed.
Returning to the match, Shelton Benjamin leapfrogged Elijah Burke, sunset flip powerbombing Punk from the apron to the floor. WHOA! Shelton can pull off some ridiculous moves. (Also, the ring has three sets of ropes.) I’m looking forward to seeing him in Money in the Bank once again.
Burke and Benjamin actually fought for a couple moments, towards the bout’s end, and they had some good chemistry. Burke went flying three quarters of the way across the ring, following Shelton’s signature top rope hiptoss / suplex. Punk broke up the count. I’d like to see Burke and Benjamin wrestle one on one.
Elijah knocked Shelton off the apron with a kick, then Punk hit the Go to Sleep on Burke for the pinfall. CM Punk won the match? Oh yes. I called it. Not that it was a tough prediction!
The show ended in a staredown. Punk vs. Chavo next week. Tonight’s edition of ECW gets an 8 / 10. Good matches – especially the main event, which was really fun to watch. The stories were good. I expect next week’s show, with the two title matches, to possibly be even better. Of course, the ECW title match will end in a DQ or count-out, so be ready for that.
Kevin McElvaney is also a contributing writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated and The Wrestler / Inside Wrestling. Send questions and comments to email@example.com.