ECW opened up, this week, with Kelly Kelly vs. Layla in a grudge match. Layla seemed to have gotten caught on a camera cable at ringside, when entering the ring. Not a good sign of things to come! The match was very much like what we used to see in 2001 Invasion angle Divas matches. Essentially, two cute girls rolling around and pulling each otherâ<80><99>s hair for most of the duration. Iâ<80><99>m surprised we didnâ<80><99>t see the obligatory “official gets caught underneath the girls as they tumble around the ring” spot.
Balls Mahoney came down and distracted Layla, allowing his girlfriend, Kelly, to hit a couple of moves and a jackknife bridge for the pinfall. Tazz actually said, after the match, that â<80><9c>Jimmy Londos, himself, would be proudâ<80> of Kellyâ<80><99>s wrestling tactic. If you donâ<80><99>t know who Jim Londos was, then you probably donâ<80><99>t find that as funny as I did. Still, Kelly does execute the jackknife well. If she can improve the rest of her arsenal, then sheâ<80><99>ll be all set.
Next match was John Morrison and Miz, aka the WWE tag team champs, against The Godwinns 2K7: Jesse and Festus. Morrisonâ<80><99>s entrance and Tazzâ<80><99>s reaction to it are amazing. The Miz was wearing both a hat AND a bandana. Pick one, Miz.
â<80><9c>BISCUITS AND GRAVY!â<80> burst through the speaker, which meant Jesse and Festus were on their way out. Weird thing is, there was an interview with Jim Johnston (WWEâ<80><99>s musical director) in Guitar One magazine a few years back, and he said that theme songs shouldnâ<80><99>t shallowly describe a wrestlerâ<80><99>s character. For instance, bands would be hired to put lyrics over Steve Austinâ<80><99>s theme song, and theyâ<80><99>d sing about â<80><9c>drinkinâ<80><99> beers and raisinâ<80><99> hell.â<80> Those songs were never used. A minor gripe, I know, but itâ<80><99>s kind of a dumb theme song, and Iâ<80><99>m surprised that Johnston has gone back on his own advice.
Jesse is fast and entertaining, and Festus plays well to the crowd, with a unique style. The match went through a commercial break, and it was decent enough. Miz and Morrison are great with teamwork. The ending was a little shaky, with a hangmanâ<80><99>s neckbreaker by Morrison being followed by an awkward rollup by the Miz. Of course, that miscommunication couldâ<80><99>ve been anyoneâ<80><99>s fault, and Iâ<80><99>m not one to point fingers. The match just went a little long, considering some other segments which couldâ<80><99>ve been on the show. (Weâ<80><99>ll get to them soon.) And there are some issues raised by this match which Iâ<80><99>m going to address in this weekâ<80><99>s edition of Offbeat Shenanigans.
They showed a recap of the Edge and Vickie business from Smackdown. Iâ<80><99>m not going to go on a big tangent here, but itâ<80><99>s really in poor taste. Vickie is a widow, and she could certainly choose to be romantic with anyone she wants. Still, she and Edge are NOT really an item, and this storyline only plays upon the awkwardness fans are going to feel in seeing the wife of a wrestling legend make out with another guy on camera. At the very least, Edge has returned to his previous gimmick of being a male prostitute.
Elijah Burke introduced Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin explained that he was in ECW, not to make friends, but to take over. He called himself â<80><9c>the Gold Standardâ<80> and quoted the opening to his theme music. After a commercial break, it was time for Shelton vs. Shannon Moore.
This was a good match. Shelton started things off by going suplex crazy on Moore. The Exploder suplex, which used to be his finisher, has become just a regular part of his arsenal, apparently. Shannon struck back with a schoolboy rollup and a spinning heel kick. Eventually, Shelty caught up with Shannon and hit a combination DDT / downward spiral, for the pinfall. Definitely the best wrestling of the night, but nothing too intense or exciting.
Big Daddy V vs. Kane, Extreme Rules, was the main event. The two big men made copious use of ringside weapons. Kane threw a couple of garbage cans, and I got the odd feeling that heâ<80><99>d regret doing that – seeing as, every single time someone throws a trash can, they get leveled afterwards. Sure enough, V tossed him into the ring steps.
Things went back and forth for a while, and they were really nailing each other. V set up a table in the corner, then splashed Kane through it. The Big Red Machine kicked out, and V scratched up his own forearm in his efforts. (â<80><9c>EC-DUBâ<80> chants) Kickout at 2. Kane wound up hitting a big clothesline from the top rope, and seemed to have the match in his favor when…MARK HENRY.
Henry and Vis double teamed Kane viciously, whacking him with a trash can and striking him with dual splashes and headbutts. Eventually, the two giants put Kane through a second table, using his own signature move – the chokeslam. Again, decent match, and they really seemed to work their butts off. I canâ<80><99>t imagine WWE couldâ<80><99>ve made everyone look as tough by booking the match’s outcome any differently. Still, a part of me really wanted to see Kane go over huge here.
ECW went off the air, and my worst fears were confirmed: NO CM PUNK! Thatâ<80><99>s right. The champion of the brand didnâ<80><99>t make so much as a single appearance on camera. The closest thing was a picture of Punk, promising that heâ<80><99>d be â<80><9c>in actionâ<80> on Smackdown. If John Cena participated in an average of 6 segments (including backstage skits, promos and matches) on a two hour episode of Raw, why then, did Punk not have at least a backstage interview this week?
Now that weâ<80><99>ve gone through segment by segment, itâ<80><99>s time to rate this weekâ<80><99>s show. Overall, nothing terrible and nothing spectacular happened. The biggest problems on the show related to there simply not being enough time for everything. I was tempted to give the 11/27 ECW a rating of 5, seeing as it was a solid, but not particularly interesting episode. Still, the complete lack of the brandâ<80><99>s champion – when we know he was at the tapings and able to perform – is inexcusable. All things considered, the other storylines were advanced, but Punk was left high and dry. This weekâ<80><99>s ECW gets a 4 out of 10.
Thanks for reading, and keep an eye out for Offbeat Shenanigans, where Iâ<80><99>ll be discussing WWEâ<80><99>s “tag team division.”
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