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The ECW X-press!

Apr 25, 2008
Disclaimer: The opinions based in this article are solely those of Beefcake Jack and are in no way affiliated with any member of TWG staff or TWG itself. Now back to your regularly scheduled article.

Welcome fans to the forth installment of the Beefcake Jack Hardcore Pre-show run-through:

The short version of the pre-show runthrough is that we're still resetting after Wrestlemania. Last week a tag match was booked to make ECW's new champion Kane look dominant. Apparently Elijah Burke wasn't available to take the pin, because we had to throw Shelton Benjamin to the wolves and let him take a GTS from Punk. That's okay if we quickly get Shelton back on the winning track, to me no one should be above an occasional loss. But also consider that Benjamin is the single man most likely to take the title from Kane in a couple of months, and we have got to keep his momentum going until then.

In other news, Mike Knox beat Stevie Richards, which I'm not happy with. It was a pretty good match for Knox, but still I am simply not behind pushing Knox as a singles superstar. He's a big scary guy who can give credibility to the midcarders (Kofi and Stevie, particularly), but by losing to them, not squashing them in three minutes.

No Dreamer, Kofi, Miz, or Morrison last week because we spent so much time setting up the main event via promos.

Joey Styles welcomes us to ECW, coming tonight from Boston. Tonight, Kane and Chavo Guerrero will sign the contract for their match at Backlash.

Miz and Morrison are out to Miz's music. Morrison heads to the table for some commentary.

The Miz vs. CM Punk

After a long staredown, the two finally lock up and Punk works several headlocks and shoulder blocks. Miz does the same in turn. Punk gets a drop toe hold and works over Miz's knee. Punk kicks the knee as Miz almost flips onto his head trying to sell. Miz regains control and catapults Punk out of the ring. Punk is back in after a two count, but he stops to stare at Morrison and Miz punches him back outside where he crashes into the table. Morrison: "I'd say you have to pay for it, but I don't think you could afford it." Back inside, Miz gets crossfaces and a chinlock. Punk gets dropkicks and a springboard clothesline. Morrison jumps onto the ring apron, and Miz gets a clothesline off the distraction. The ref tosses Morrison, which is a pity because his commentary is always awesome.

We're back from break with Miz hitting more crossfaces in the ropes. He gets a nice move where he jumps off of Punk's back to the outside for a hotshot on Punk's neck. Miz gets a reverse DDT and back to the Ortonlock. Punk gets out and they do the goofy 'both guys running the ropes and crossing' spot. Which brings back bad memories of Eugene matches. It leads to a double clothesline. Both guys are down for an eight count. Punk hits the backfist, a roundhouse kick, clothesline, spinning wheel kick. Miz blocks the Knee of Doom but Punk stays in control with a powerslam. Miz escapes a double underhook and gets a corner clothesline. He hits a slingshot leg drop for two. Punk gets up with an enziguiri, Knee of Doom, and the running bulldog! GTS ends it and Punk gets the win.

Winner: CM Punk by GTS @ 10:12

I approve, we damn sure need more ten minute matches on this show. The Miz is just the spot on the ladder right now that he SHOULD be jobbing to Punk, but also should be lasting a long time with him. And that's what we got. Miz got in his spots, didn't look like a total chump, and Punk still gets the win and looks strong. The match was nothing spectacular, but there were no goofups and it lasted long enough that it gets a thumbs up without needing to be spectacular.

Match Rating: 5.4/10

Young Colin begs Estrada for a contract again. But this time, he's got a guy who isn't afraid to tell it like it is by his side. Dreamer says that Colin is not looking for handouts, he just wants and deserves to earn his contract. Estrada is not pleased, so he books Delaney vs. Dreamer for tonight. Delaney is fighting for his contract, but if Tommy loses, he's FIRRRRRED.

On RAW in a week and a half, it's Hillary Clinton vs. Barrack Obama in a WWE ring!! My god, did they not learn from the Donald vs. Rosie fiasco?

Chavo is out, accompanied by Los Edgeheads. I was beginning to think they were going to let Chavo's ties with them go. Kane stalks out with his belt for the contract signing. Kane signs the contract, but Chavo warns him that he's signing away his title. Kane laughs and says that Chavo's awfully cocky for someone who last in eight seconds. Chavo says that there will be no attacking from behind at Backlash. He'll have somebody watching his back. Out comes "Amish Roadkill in a Suit" (actually OVW guy Justin LaRouche). All four men beat down Kane and LaRouche hits him with the title. Frog Splash on the table by Chavo and he finally signs the contract.

ELIJAH! ELIJAH! HE'S FINALLY BACK IN A NON-JOBBER ROLE!

Elijah Burke vs. Nunzio

I'm glad to see Nunzio back too. The Italian starts with a headlock and counters armwringers with Burke. Finally, Burke gets a hammerlock clothesline, and a back body drop that Nunzio overrotated on and almost broke his knees. Burke slams Nunzio's chest on the apron, and kicks his head off. Nunzio fights back with punches, but gets KILLED with the 4-UP. Elijah chokes Nunzio in the ropes, then hits the senton to Nunzio's head while leaping through the ropes. That move is not nearly as hard as it looks, but it does look great. Second-rope fist drop gets two. Nunzio gets his token comeback, but Burke destroys him with a release German suplex and gears up for the Elijah Express. Nunzio doesn't get up to take his medicine so Burke hauls him up and hits the Elijah Exploder (leg sweep clothesline, or leg sweep STO depending on your perspective) for three.

Winner: Elijah Burke by Elijah Exploder @ 2:46

No problems here. It wasn't great by any means, but Elijah has good offense, Nunzio is possibly the best pure jobber in the WWE (Venis doesn't count because he shouldn't be a jobber), and this match was pretty specifically designed to start building Elijah back up so we can job him to Punk again. You all know I'm an Elijah mark. So basically, the match gets an automatic three points for Elijah being in it. J The rest of the credit goes to Nunzio for good selling and Burke for bringing it like usual. However, the Elijah Express is a much better finisher than the Exploder. I'm all for building up secondary finishers, I loved when Chavo busted out the Gory Bomb a couple of weeks ago...so I'm cool with it, but the Express is still much better.

Match Rating: 4.6/10

We get a Kofi promo. I'll be quite honest, once you figure out he says nothing of substance the whole time you tend to stop listening. It's not that he's not charismatic, he damn sure is, but seriously...who writes this stuff?

Domino vs. Kofi Kingston

Domino throws his shirt at Kofi, and Kofi takes the fight to him with a couple of leg trips. Arm drag and armbar as usual, high crossbody, armdrag and armbar again. Okay, seriously. We get it. The man can do armdrags. Domino backs Kofi into the corner and Irish whips him to the other corner, but Kofi reverses and gets the leaping bronco buster position and the usual mounted punches and a shoulder thrust. Kofi tries to float over a corner charge but gets caught and face planted. Domino stomps away and hits a snapmare. Neck wrench doesn't last long and Kofi escapes with a jaw breaker. Punches, flying back elbow, Jamaican legsweep all connect. Bo-bo legdrop and Taz is happy in his pants. High crossbody misses and allows Domino to come off the ropes with momentum, but he runs into the Jamaican Buzzsaw for the three!

Winner: Kofi Kingston by Jamaican Buzzsaw @ 4:04

I'm starting to think if you've see one Kofi match you've seen them all.

Match Rating: 3.9/10

Backstage, Layla has beef with Eve Torres. Not that Eve isn't hot as hell, but if this is leading to a match I question it automatically.

Next week! Undertaker on ECW! I'm not sure what we're thinking bringing the man with the forty-five minute entrance to a one-hour show. Heh heh.

Meanwhile, Colin has an entrance video with no music, which features him getting the crap kicked out of him. Dreamer is wearing a Wrestlemania shirt because they apparently don't care enough about Backlash to make a shirt for it.

Colin Delaney vs. Tommy Dreamer

Dreamer gets a waistlock takedown. Colin quickly gets to the ropes. Dreamer turns the next lockup into a fireman's carry takeover. Dreamer hits an armdrag and a body slam, but misses on the elbow drop. Colin punches Dreamer and rolls him up for two. Dreamer comes back with a short arm clothesline. Dreamer throws Colin and charges him, but Colin low bridges Dreamer, dropkicks him through the ropes, and hits a flying crossbody to the outside. Slingshot plancha only gets one, as does an Okie roll. Dreamer fights back with a swank pump handle suplex. He sets Colin on the top rope and chops him on the chest. Dreamer goes up for a superplex but gets pushed off. Colin completely whiffs on a missile dropkick, allowing Tommy to recover and throw Colin into the turnbuckle. ECW tree of woe dropkick connects and Dreamer DDT finishes us. Colin sold the Dreamer DDT properly! I'm looking at you, Miz.

Winner: Tommy Dreamer by Dreamer DDT @ 4:38

It was just what you'd expect from Dreamer and Delaney. I'm actually starting to wonder if the obvious eventual payoff of this angle is a good idea, because I really just can't buy Colin as a legitimate threat to win matches. His offense just isn't believable. But that aside, both guys did their jobs, it was a good match, but probably not main event worthy, they really could have swapped it with Miz/Punk and the show would have been better off.

Match Rating: 4.4/10
Overall Analysis:

I always approve of shows without any awful matches. This gets that distinction, ECW managed to put together a four-match show where each match felt unique and feature-length. As opposed to last month where Richards and Kingston were copying each other's match formats for three weeks. I love that we're building Elijah back up, I like that we're pumping some new life into Chavo's title chase with hired muscle, and the opening match was very satisfactory. In general, a straight-up feel-good show. It's not going to shock you, or really be that entertaining, but every match was acceptable and we got our storylines moving along. Except Knox-Richards, and who really wants to see that move along anyways?

Overall Show Grade: B
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