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The ECW X-Press! 4/15/2008

Apr 27, 2008
Pre-show run-through:

Last week: Mr. Money in the Bank Crazy Mariachi Punk took a step in the right direction by beating The Miz in an excellent match. Kofi was business as usual, which at this point is not a good thing. Tommy Dreamer defeated his buddy Colin to save his own career. Elijah Burke won! Most importantly, though, a new player debuted on the ECW scene as Chavo's new hit man, 'Bam', made an appearance to lay out Kane during the Backlash contract signing. We'll see how now having the big man around in addition to Hawkins and Ryder will impact Kane's feud with Chavo. Also, it was announced last week that Undertaker would be appearing on this week's ECW for the first time since Big Show's title reign, and on RAW last night it was elaborated that he would team up with his 'brother' Kane to face Miz and Morrison in a non-title match.

We start stuff off with a Kane and Undertaker video package.

Joey Styles welcomes us to ECW, and lets Taz make the announcement that Styles' time on air is done and he will be working with the website team. So let me pause here and give my thoughts. Styles was not the most talented announcer. He didn't have the look of a wrestling announcer. He didn't have the voice of a wrestling announcer. But he was always well prepared, knew the wrestling moves better than any other commentator in wrestling today, and did a fantastic job of making the show about the wrestlers, and not himself, something that the much more talented and interesting JR and King could probably learn from. ECW's not going to be the same without him. I'll miss you Joey.

Especially considering his replacement is immediately announced as Mike "Jeff Harvey" Adamle. I'll give him some time before I call it a move for the worse, but my hopes are not high.

Out comes Mr. Money in the Bank Crazy Mariachi Punk, with his official Mr. Money in the Bank Crazy Mariachi Punk Briefcase. We get another three minutes of entrances, which leads to...

CM Punk, Jimmy Wang Yang, Shannon Moore, & Kofi Kingston vs. Elijah Burke, Deuce, Domino, & Shelton Benjamin
Punk starts out with Domino, who starts out with the advantage. Momentarily, Punk counters. Side headlock! Shoulder block! It gets less and less exciting every time they do it! In is Shannon Moore, for a sunset flip and armwringer. In is Yang for an AWESOME dropkick where he landed on Domino for the cover - before Domino hit the ground! Punk comes in with a double axe handle to the arm, but Domino manages to get Benjamin in. Scoop slam and elbow drop by Benjamin. Punk counters a back suplex into a pinfall. Benjamin hits a knee to the gut and tosses Punk outside.

Elijah has tagged in during the break and misses an elbow drop to Punk immediately. Kingston is in and gets a huge crowd reaction, which is encouraging considering how obscenely boring his booking has been. Kofi slides under Burke's charge and hits an armdrag. Sigh. Moore kicks Burke and works over his shoulder. Moore and Yang team up for a suplex/pescado combo. Wang goes for corner punches but Burke shoves him off and connects on a 4-UP. Burke tags out but has a parting shot for Yang, hitting the through-the-ropes senton. Which I wish they would give a name to. Benjamin hits punches and a chinlock. Deuce, meanwhile, won't shut up. Yes, we know your name. Benjamin hits a thrust kick to the face of Yang off the ropes. Deuce hits his usual boring kicks and punches. Fist drop, headlock, more punches. Thankfully Burkes is in, I think I've had my quota of greaser today. Burke goes wild on Yang with body shots and uppercuts in the corner. Yang hits a wicked chop out of nowhere. Elijah panics and tags in Deuce. I frown. After a failed cover, Domino is in with a scoop slam and a nice leg drop. Yang manages a back body drop and goes for the tag, Deuce tries to stop him but kicks him straight into Kingston. Kofi with a RIDICULOUSLY high-angle crossbody. Seriously, he fell straight freaking down on Deuce. Clothesline and dropkick sets up for the Bo-Bo legdrop. Adamle: "Jamaican me crazy, Kofi!" Fail. Benjamin breaks up the cover but Punk takes him out. Moore hits a crossbody onto both guys, leaving Kofi and Deuce alone in the ring. Kofi rolls under a clothesline and kicks the hell out of Deuce to win. Adamle: "Uno, dos, adios!" Um...you know they speak English in Jamaica...right Mike? Right?

Winner: Kofi Kingston & Co by Jamaican Buzzsaw @ 9:09

As far as match quality goes? Average to slightly below. There were too many guys we were trying to get over at once, but in the end this entire match was mostly about Wang Yang, Burke, and Kingston. Punk and Benjamin look like afterthoughts, which they shouldn't. Deuce and Domino look mediocre, which is true. I love that Kofi got the pinfall, though. I complain about same old, same old a lot when it comes to Kofi, but they managed to make him look like a star in a fresh way tonight. I approve. Sadly, the match setup just wasn't favorable to making everyone in it matter.

Match Rating: 4.4/10
Adamle: "And Sheldon Benjamin looking down, he can't believe what happened." (As Shel-Ton is on the floor looking up, naturally). Are you sensing that I'm not real impressed by Adamle so far? You would be right!!

Kane vs. Chavo video package, featuring the debut of Bam.

Kane talks to the camera. He said Chavo has made a mistake and awoken the monster. Miz and Morrison are about to face their destruction, make that the Brothers of Destruction. Undertaker does the eye roll.

Adamle calls Taz 'The Taz'. I guess that mistake worked out pretty well for Maria, but it's not helping Adamle.

Taz is in the ring, for a "Diva Dance Off". Let's not bother recapping this, eh? Layla is hot, Eve is hot, Maryse is wearing goofy sunglasses, and Lena Yada's entrance video is composed exclusively of clips from the last dance-off. Taz dances, the girls dance, Kelly wins. Layla's by far the best dancer of the girls, though Eve was obviously a cheerleader. Waste of air time. Let it be known that that segment took a full 8 minutes.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Mike Knox

Estrada decides that the fans want to see Knox wrestle against a potential world champion. Dreamer can head to the back, as Knox will go one on one with Colin Delaney!

Mike Knox vs. Colin Delaney
Knox beats up Colin. Clothesline, back suplex, running corner thump, and backbreaker. Boring corkscrew STO finishes things quickly.

Winner: Mike Knox by Boring Corkscrew STO @ 0:52 It's Mike Knox. The back suplex was pretty nice, other than that we've got nothing. Hopefully it leads to Tommy beating the crap out of Knox next week.
Match Rating: 1.5/10

Miz and Morrison are backstage. Miz says that he watched Kane and Taker battle each other on Smackdown recently. The WWE Tag Team Champions have a stronger brotherhood than Kane and Taker. Tonight, says Morrison, the man who is going to start the match, get right up in the Deadman's face, and prove that ECW is their yard, will be Miz! Miz does not look very thrilled.

John Morrison & The Miz vs. Kane & The Undertaker

Contrary to Morrison's words, Miz starts out with Kane. Miz gets some quick punches but Kane powers Miz into the ropes and gets a shoulder block. He throws Miz shoulder first into the buckle and Undertaker is in to keep working the shoulder of Miz with Old School. To the outside and goes for the usual elbow smash on the apron, but Morrison comes out of nowhere to cut him off with a clothesline.

Back from break and Morrison is throwing rights to Taker. Taker recovers and does some nice striking in the corner. Morrison gets an overhead kick but Taker comes right back with a big boot. Kane is in for uppercuts, looks for a chokeslam but Morrison grabs the ropes and tags in Miz. Kane hits uppercuts and two corner clotheslines to Miz. Side slam sets up for the top rope clothesline, but Morrison interrupts it. Miz hits a chop block and locks in a leg bar, which Adamle calls a 'figure four' and is corrected by Taz. Morrison stomps and punches Kane, then torques the knee. Miz is back in to stomp away, but when he goes for corner punches Kane gets another uppercut. Morrison again provides the distraction, and Miz gets a corner clothesline. Two quick tags and both guys continue to work the legs. Two EPIC uppercuts to Miz sets up for a big boot and Taker is in with Morrison. Punches, corner clothesline, snake eyes, big boot, elbow drop. Taker double goozles Miz and Morrison, they fight out but of course in comes Kane for a double goozle, stereo chokeslams, and Morrison eats Tombstone for the win.

Winner: Taker and Kane by Tombstone @ 7:38

The match was fine. I really would have liked to see Miz and Morrison get into their own offensive arsenals instead of just being limited to kicking and punching and working Kane's knee. But it still worked out okay. It's just...I'm a little depressed that they spent so long building the Morrison character as an arrogant ass who isn't scared of anybody because he's that damn good...and they drop it to do the clichéd "Ohhh, I'm so scared of the Undertaker" shtick. Still, always nice to see Taker in action, he was working hard tonight. And like I said two weeks ago, Kane is better off when he can tag out to someone else and not have to work too hard himself, he tends to get real slow once he's been in the ring for a while.

Match Rating: 5.3/10
Overall Analysis:

We had two solid matches, so obviously it wasn't a horrible show. But you kind of came out of it going, "Did anything really happen tonight?" We saw no Chavo, and what's more no advancement of Chavo-Kane for backlash. We saw no Stevie, and may never see a resolution to his feud with Knox. We saw Punk, Benjamin, Burke, and Kingston all stuck in a somewhat aimless match that was obviously only on the card to give them all something to do. Basically, the matches on this show were fine but they build the whole show around "HEY GUYS, TAKER'S ON THIS SHOW! WATCH IT! WATCH IT!" and now what's the reason to tune in next week, considering Taker won, he'll go back to Smackdown now and we've built nothing for next week except a Mike Knox match?

Overall Show Grade: C
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