Join Brady and Trask (colored for a clearer read) as they blog the WWECW era as a tag team. This time it’s Episode 1 on June 7, 2006 from Trenton, NJ.
Brady: It’s been too long since I’ve written something here, hasn’t it? That may be because we’re having some complications with THF, but that’s okay now because WWE Network was my saving grace and uploaded WWE’s version of ECW and I’m bringing WWW’s very own Trask along with me. WWE’s ECW is Something I remember quite a bit. I grew up watching wrestling just as the original ECW started to fold, so I never got into it like I would’ve liked to. In more recent years, I have gone back to check out the original ECW, yet WWE’s ECW still holds a bigger place in my heart. Mostly because that’s the ECW I fully watched through its tenure and I was very invested in it every Tuesday night on SyFy. So, I thought it would be perfect to go back and review the years of WWE’s ECW for some nostalgia. I haven’t watched these episodes pretty much since originally aired with the exception of a few matches throughout the years. Though it doesn’t seem that long ago, in my opinion, it’s been 11 years since the original first airing of WWE ECW. Pretty crazy, huh? Anyway, WWE decided to bring back ECW for a One Night Stand show in 2005, which did well enough that they brought the show back in 2006 and ended up making a weekly ECW show. Prior to the first airing of this, ECW’s One Night Stand PPV happened just the Sunday before. On that show, something shocking happened. ECW’s Rob Van Dam defeated WWE’s John Cena in the main event to capture the WWE Championship. Something we never thought we’d see was playing out in front of our eyes and now an ECW wrestler is walking into ECW’s new weekly televised show holding the grandest prize in world wrestling entertainment, the WWE Championship. So, instead of me going on forever; let’s get into WWE ECW’s pilot episode.
Trask: This is more so a new experience for me than it is for Brady. I was dipping in and out of wrestling throughout this time period (really, the WHOLE time period of WWECW as well). The fondest WWECW experience I have is seeing some roster members live at a house show in 2008-2009 ish. I’m ready to be befuddled by the constantly dumb, painstakingly bad that is WWECW, capped off with the potential week to week bangers and a few awesome title runs. I prefer this to actual ECW, and it’s time to explain why throughout this blog series. Brady and I both hold this closer to our hearts than OG ECW. LET’S DO THIS.
Trask: The opening video sees RVD winning the WWE Championship at One Night Stand, which is a great show for those that haven’t seen it. I suggest using it as a launching pad into the product though we’re beginning our blogs with Episode 1. The show emanates from Trenton, NJ and is in a BIG ASS ARENA with the same old ECW tunnel. Tazz/Styles on commentary. Heyman introduced the new WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam. After some introductory words, Heyman handed over new and improved ECW Championship. As RVD spun around the WWE Championship, marveling in his own accomplishments, Edge and Lita crashed the parade (being the #1 Contender for the title and all…). Edge babyfaced it up, showing respect for RVD, telling him how much he’s looking forward to Vengenace where he’s facing him — only to spear him to hell to stake his claim on the world premiere of the show. A good open to the show that immediately launches us into the new era and gives us hype for the PPV. BUT WAIT.
Trask: As Edge walks away, John Cena is creeping on him, as another invading force tries to stake his claim. We get a triple threat tease with Cena/RVD working together accidentally only to beef. Cena knocked Heyman out before leaving which led to the ECW locker room clearing out (and when we’re back from the break) we get Heyman whining to the boys. “We’re gonna bring ECW to Monday Night Raw, and this Monday, we’re going to show up on Monday Night Raw, and I’m not going alone — I’m bringing along with me ECW!!!”
The Zombie vs. The Sandman
Trask: Tazz RIGHT AWAY asked if this is a rib, which is a hilarious burial of garbage going on. Zombie’s promo consisted of screams only for Sandman to cut him off. You can tell this wouldn’t have been a 20-minute classic back and forth. Sandman smashed Zombie over the head with a few kendo stick shots only to transition into a Russian Leg Sweep for the win. Easy squash as Tazz labeled this the new breed of ECW. Zombie would go on to become a notorious representation of what WWECW was, from the very beginning. He passed away not too long ago. R.I.P.
Brady: Zombie came out and cut a promo before the match if you even want to call it that. He just made “Zombie noises”. Sandman made his way down and ended the match in about 30 seconds after a couple kendo stick shots and a Russian leg sweep. Not much to that, but cool to see Sandman do what he does best, make his way to the ring and swing a kendo.
Trask: It didn’t take long to cut to the exhibitionist angle with Kelly Kelly. She teased everyone that she’s going to take off all her clothes tonight. She’s totally going to do that on SyFy/national TV. Absolutely. We bit hook line and sinker at the time though, let’s be real.
Brady: Kelly Kelly announced that she’s an exhibitionist and she will take off her clothes tonight. Okay then.
We see highlights from Taz vs. Jerry Lawler from One Night Stand. Trask forgets this even happened but gives a virtual thumbs up to Brady.
Kurt Angle vs. Justin Credible
Trask: ECW’s Olympic Gold Medalist takes on a former ECW Champion. One of my favorite things about early-on reboot WWECW is Angle being the flagship guy behind RVD. Reminds me of something that’d happen during the Invasion that is refreshing/odd/cool as shit. There’s nothing greater than watching Kurt sweep Credible to then slap the shit out of him in multiple holds. Credible got pissed, because, well, Angle is the guy and is not even OG hardcore. Angle choked him out easily. Another fun squash.
Brady: Justin started off hot but things quickly turned around. The new, more aggressive ECW Angle threw Justin Credible around like a damn rag doll and made him look like a complete loser. Credible tried firing up but took a headbutt for his efforts, and then was choked out. Kurt was on fire and amped up more than ever, grabbing a mic and telling Randy Orton that he’s going to make him tap out. I like this Angle very much.
Trask: Angle hypes up the match with Orton at Vengeance, because he’s going to make his ass tap out, whether it’s WWE/ECW/no rules at all. He let out a “YEAHHHH” grunt after proclaiming the fact he’s the face of ECW. A machine in every sense of the word.
Trask: A gritty zoom in promo on Heyman as he scrapped the match card tonight in favor of 10 ECW guys in an Extreme Battle Royal. The winner will go on to face John Cena at Vengeance. There’s something beautiful about things already going to hell in terms of organization, at least in kayfabe at this point. More cross over booking between brands while giving off a very ECW type of match for the world premiere.
Brady: Heyman announces backstage that 10 ECW guys will go out to the ring and have an Extreme Battle Royal. The winner will get to face John Cena.
Trask: Kelly Kelly is showing all of her (zoom out to show ass) ASSETS next.
Trask: OH MY GOD KEVIN THORNE WAS SHOWN OUTSIDE OF THE ARENA UNDER THE SIGN.
Brady: Kevin Thorne was shown outside of the building to a creeped out reaction from commentary.
Trask: Kelly Kelly gave a full tease of what’s to come in the future featuring lingerie and “hands over nipples but bra undone” routines. JUST WHAT I WANT IN MY GRAPS!
10 Man Extreme Battle Royal – Winner Faces John Cena
Trask: I can’t help but think this is perfectly molded for the WWF Hardcore division. It’s exactly something you’d have seen back then. Big Show from the jump made folks look like roadkill within seconds. It was built around him being a demi-god only for weaponized attempts at neutralization. Al Snow KILLED Stevie Richards with one of the more ridiculous trash can shots I’ve seen/especially heard. Trying to keep your eyes active when you’re hearing MULTIPLE weapon shots at a time is hard. Show chucked out four people in a row capped off with Balls Mahoney. Dreamer smacked the hell out of Show with everything he could get his hands on and then Sabu tried a poetry in motion only to skim elimination off a Show counter. Show pressed Dreamer through a table on the outside. My favorite large man in wrestling then destroyed F.B.I. A “giant on giant” presented moment came with the Show-Mamaluke interactions only for a quick elimination. Show was held down though, as Sabu set up a chair to leap off and smack Show with a chair leading to Show’s elimination and Sabu’s win. The crowd didn’t really pop for the ending but it was neat. Fun battle royal.
Brady: Big Show was the final man to enter the ring, and right away he cleared everyone from the ring. Yet, no one was eliminated due to him not tossing anyone over the top. We come back from a commercial break to see nearly everyone back in the ring with hands full of weapons, beating the hell out of each other. Moments later, Big Show eliminated Al Snow and Danny Doring, followed by Stevie Richards a few moments later and Road Kill after him. Big Show was on a rampage just going after everyone because he tossed out Balls Mahoney next after slamming him onto a trash can. Tommy Dreamer took advantage and beat the hell out of Show with a road sign. Sabu tried to join in but Big Show fought back and tossed Dreamer over the top through a table to eliminate him. Just pure chaos everywhere. It was wild: weapons and bodies flying everywhere. FBI tried to get involved with Show but he eliminated all of them, yet Big Guido held onto Big Show after he was eliminated, allowing Sabu to hit Show with a chair in the back of the head to eliminate him. Sabu is your winner and will face John Cena! What a time.
Brady: Overall, a solid pilot episode for WWECW. They did a good job at building up storylines right away. Weird that instead of a number one contender’s battle royal they were fighting for the right to face John Cena, who isn’t a champion at all and not on ECW but it makes sense with the brand wars in an odd way. New characters being introduced already is a good start, hopefully, more extreme and maybe longer matches to come.
Trask: Episode 1 of WWECW was exactly what you’d expect a watered down sports entertainment version of the product to be. ACTUALLY BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL, with a lot of the Heyman influence, injected into it still. The Zombie was dumb as fuck but worked to get Sandman a spot on the show. Kurt Angle murdered Credible in what was an entertaining squash. The battle royal worked as a first episode gimmick to propel Sabu as a legend-waiting-to-do-more-crazy-shit-in-WWE. All of the segments were well done, particularly the open to the show that gave a lot to sink your teeth into. The main takeaway is that this is a refreshing product to look back on, incredibly breezy at 45 minutes, and very binge-able. I can’t wait for more.