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ECW Returns to Philly
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Old 25 Jun 2006, 12:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ECW Returns to Philly

To a luke warm reception:


WWECW debuted last night at the ECW Arena. The pre-show atmosphere was fun as there were cook-outs, the usual pre-show comsumption of adult beverages, and such. New Alhambra management was smart enough to open up the second parking lot (typically only used for large events and boxing) to allow for tailgating.

I wish I could say this reminded me of a ECW show. It didn't. By no means was it a bad show... by normal definitions. But asking fans to pay $25 for a show that's over in 2 hours 15 minutes (including a bikini contest and a Paul Heyman promo) isn't giving them $25 of action, even if there's a WWE PPV the next night, and some of the talent has to get to Charlotte.

Things started off with the typical pre-taped message regarding WWE's proprietary rights, including no digital pictures, etc. The fans booked heavily and started the first of several "F%$# you Vince" chants of the night. Then WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts came out, instead of Steve DeAngelis and was booed loudly at the beginning of the show, and pretty much all night long any time he showed his face.

The FBI defeated Danny Doring and Roadkill. All concerned got a nice reaction coming out. Mamaluke did a scary looking flip senton to the floor on Doring. Tony Mamaluke scored the pin on Roadkill with a DDT.

CM Punk defeated Stevie Richards by submission. Punk got a great pop, and came out to "Miseria Cantare", his great Ring of Honor music (now WHAT was that about using copyrighted music?....more on that later). Richards got a great reaction coming out, then pretty much played heel for the match. The match was pretty obviously a WWE-style match, rather then anything that reminded you of his ROH or IWA matches; with vocal segments of the crowd already hooting at the WWE match style early on.

Francine won an extreme bikini contest over Kelly and Trinity. Yawn. Francine looked great, and it was nice to see her looking happy to be back. Following the "contest", Francine and Trinity had a catfight (so where is Joey Styles to scream "catfight" when you need him?). Trinity moonsaulted off the top to the floor on Francine but air-balled it in a scary moment. Francine then went back after Kelly, and tried to take her top off, followed by a continuation of Mike Knox (the unnamed guy from WWE/CW TV) who again covered up Kelly and laid out Francine. Balls Mahoney made the save, seguing into...

Mike Knox rolled up Balls Mahoney for a pinfall while holding Mahoney's pants after Mahoney missed a chairshot. Crowd chanted at Knox "We don't know you", and booed the hell out of the standard "heel cheats to win" screw finish.

Sabu defeated CW Anderson by submission with the Camel Clutch. Sabu put Anderson through a table with an Arabian Facebuster at one point.

First, Justin Credible came out to his old "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" music (which he got a CD of from a fan during the pre-show tailgate in one of the funnier pre-show moments). Then, came a commotion...and out came Sandman through the crowd to his generic music. No TV, mind you. No excuse for not putting "Enter Sandman" on the loudspeakers, since it bothered no one to have 2 other traditional entrance songs played, including one in this match. If they can't use Metallica, then get Motorhead's version of the song, or even an instrumental sound-alike if you have to do so. An audible segment of the crowd in back of me chanted "Enter Sandman"

Sandman pinned Justin Credible with the White Russian Legsweep in a really short Dueling Canes match.

Following this match, Paul Heyman came out to a loud reaction.

In a really nice touch, Heyman saluted the memorial banner for Ted Petty, with a salute to the banner and a cabbage patch dance type gesture.

A large vocal segment of the crowd chanted at Heyman "This show sucks." Heyman said that they had to make some compromises but claimed that "the bottom line was ECW was back and they would beat the compromises in end". A sizable segment of the crowd was not happy. He said that "he had waited 5 years to be back in the ECW Arena and that no matter what porno rejects and wannabes and losers ran here (seems someone still has a hard-on for Rob Black and XPW) , ECW is back"

Heyman admitted to the crowd, which was even more vocal about it this time, that Sandman's generic music sucked. Heyman pushed the July 4th taping, which didn't go over too well, given that they'd been moved from the ECW Arena to the Wachovia Center. There were some in the crowd who yelled "Sellout" for him shilling the show. Heyman's curious reply was that a sellout woudl tell you to go to RAW and Smackdown, but he was only telling people to go to the July 4 ECW taping. (Huh?)

Heyman then introduced Tommy Dreamer. Tommy Dreamer gave a speech talking about one of those stranger than fiction moments when one of his daughters fell and hurt her head (describing her head as looking like JT Smith's did the one time after a fall at the Arena....yikes!), but once they realized there was no major damage, Beulah and the kids told him to go to the Arena because they knew how much the fans meant to him. Dreamer gave a nice speech about past talent and those who "couldn't be here" and said they were part of a family. Dreamer said ECW raised the bar for wrestling and would have to work harder to do it again.

Dreamer said the fans in the Arena decide if you will make it in ECW and called out Big Show, seguing into....

Big Show defeated Tommy Dreamer

They brawled around ringside and even into the bleachers with Big Show pressing Dreamer up against the back wall of the building. Show chokensteined Dreamer through a table to the floor for a two count. Dreamer came back and tried to hit the Spicolli Driver through a table but couldn't lift Show (go figure). Show chokeslammed him for the pin. The crowd crapped all over Big Show including a "Don't Come Back" chant.

Rob Van Dam defeated Kurt Angle by clean pinfall (with Dean Malenko as the special referee). Angle got a big pop from the crowd, who showed they weren't against ALL WWE talent. Van Dam was greeted as you'd expect. This was a great match to be given away anywhere but on PPV, with Van Dam getting the clean pinfall after a Five Star Frog Splash.
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