The show opened up with the CM Punk promo which turned into the Chavo Guerrero promo which turned into the announcement that Punk and Chavo would be facing off in the first ever “Gulf of Mexico” match. The object is to toss your opponent into the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
Okay, it’s hokey, but I’ll bite. Heck, I live for hokey! Still, isn’t there some way this could’ve been promoted ahead of time? It’s just the kind of goofy thing which could make a Raw viewer tune in to ECW for once. Or the kind of thing which would inspire them to watch the second hour of American Idol instead. Either one.
Victoria and Layla (who is becoming a great heel) defeated Kelly Kelly and Michelle McCool. Finish came after Lena Yada – who was at ringside – tripped up Kelly, allowing Victoria to hit the Widow’s Peak for the pinfall.
It’s obvious that Victoria is head and shoulders above the other three girls in terms of in-ring work, but all three of the rest are getting better at what they do. At times, I think that WWE might feel guilt for eradicating the women’s division. Actually, with all the flashy armdrags and huracanranas in this match, I’m thinking they’re feeling guilt for getting rid of the cruiserweights, as well.
Shelton Benjamin and Kane will face off on Smackdown. Glad to hear they’re utilizing the ECW / Smackdown merger. Thing is, if the brands become much more integrated, they should probably just unify the titles. Maybe even call the Smackdown title the ECW title… I’m talking out of my backside here, but I have my reasons for that offhand comment. Just not enough room to get into them here. Might be a column later on.
Anyway… Tommy Dreamer vs. John Morrison. If you’ve ever watched an ECW on Sci-Fi which featured Tommy Dreamer and John Morrison, you can probably guess who won this match. Morrison pinned Dreamer after a ringside brawl between The Miz and Colin Delaney.
I’ve gotta say this. I don’t know when it happened, but I LOVE this Colin Delaney angle. I found myself thinking at the top of the show, “I really hope they do something with Colin Delaney and Dreamer tonight. I wonder where they’re taking that.”
That, my friends, is the sign of a good storyline.
After that, we saw a segment I certainly wasn’t expecting: a pre-recorded interview between Joey Styles and Stevie Richards. They spoke about the total of nine surgeries Stevie has had (five of them in the latter part of 2007) on his throat and neck, stemming from a neck injury in the previous ECW.
It was an emotional interview, and “Big Stevie Cool” seems very excited to be returning to the ring on next week’s ECW episode. I’m looking forward to it as well. Stevie’s someone I always find myself rooting for and, previously unbeknownst to me, I think he may be one of my favorite wrestlers.
Kofi Kingston defeated James Curtis (aka KC James) after a “Boom Boom” legdrop and an enzeguri. Again, Kingston is a unique and entertaining wrestler who might eventually really connect with the fans. He’s doing well thus far!
The main event, as mentioned earlier, was the Gulf of Mexico match. Leading up to the match, Tazz pondered the following:
“Are there sharks in the Gulf of Mexico?”
The match began in the arena, and Punk / Guerrero brawled all through the crowd, tossing each other all over the ECW set. It was a little bit hard to see at times, due to the lighting (or lack thereof) ECW uses.
They eventually brawled out into the parking lot, where Guerrero lobbed Punk on to the hood on an oncoming car. Punk kicked Guerrero, who fell into the camera man, knocking him over. Immediately, the show went to commercial.
After the break, Punk and Guerrero were very close to the water. Punk back body dropped Guerrero on to the windshield of a big red pickup. A lot of wind noise, which was either edited in or a sign that WWE needed stronger wind screens on their microphones.
Chavo picked up a cooler which, for some reason, got a huge pop from the crowd, and hurled it at Punk. He then tried to suplex him into the Gulf, but Punk floated over. Punk hit the Go to Sleep, with the knee lift sending Chavo falling into the Gulf of Mexico.
Winner and still dry, CM Punk! He’ll get an ECW title rematch at No Way Out.
Very interesting last segment. On paper, it sounds dumb, but I found myself getting really into it in the final moments, which is what counts. I can’t imagine KENTA would’ve ever predicted his move would be used the way it was tonight.
That’s the show. Some parts dragged on, and the wrestling wasn’t quite up to last week’s standards, but still a solid effort. Once again, I really liked the way the show ended. May be a pro-Punk bias I have. Oh well!
A 7.5 / 10 for the February 5th ECW.