What used to be an ECW-only pay-view is now a tri-branded event as ECW goes tonight from Jacksonville, Fla. If The Great Khali becomes WWE champion tonight I will resign my position with SLAM! Wrestling, effective at the end of this report.
The Free For All preshow is hosted by some guy named Jack Korpela. Dude looks like he’s 19 years old and still lives at home. He recaps the matches for One Night Stand with footage I’m sure we’ll see 57 more times tonight.
Once the show goes live from the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, we get all three announce teams at ringside. This show is hyped as an Extreme Rules specialty with all gimmick matches, so let’s count the gallons of blood sure to be shed.
Match # 1 – Stretcher Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton
Wow, from main eventers to curtain jerkers. Couldn’t the freaking Pudding Match have gone first? And is this match RVD’s swan song? Heck, he’s already in Florida…
Van Dam starts out quickly with his usual array of kicks. Orton fires off a forearm shiver that gives RVD that deer-in-the-headlights look. Van Dam blocks an RKO with a spin kick and goes up top for the Five-Star Frog Splash, only to fall off and to the floor selling the concussion. Back in the ring, Orton targets RVD’s dome. Again to the floor, Van Dam hurls the Legend Killer into the ring post and puts Orton on the stretcher and lands a spinning leg drop from the ring apron. In the ring again, RVD sets up Orton for Rolling Thunder, but Orton springs up and executes a sweet-looking powerslam.
We go back to the floor and Orton is again placed on the stretcher. RVD goes for a somersault plancha, but misses badly and takes a HUGE bump. Orton puts RVD on the stretcher and wheels him towards the finish line. Just three feet away, Van Dam gets up, kicks Orton in the head and wheels the stretcher over the line for the surprise win.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
Per protocol, Orton attacks Van Dam from behind and kicks him into the front row of fans. He then hangs Van Dam on the barrier and gives him a spike DDT on the floor. The “EMTs” come rushing out and take RVD to the back on another stretcher.
BLOOD COUNT: None after one match
Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon are backstage and Vince says he has a bad feeling about tonight and it has nothing to do with his Street Fight with Bobby Lashley. Shane says there are no worries as he and Umaga will be out there. Great, so essentially we get a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. Oh yeah, that’s right, someone has to sell for Vince because Vince IS NOT A WRESTLER. As for his premonition, what, is he going to fake a heart attack or something? Guess we’ll find out.
Match # 2 – Tables Match – CM Punk, Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman vs. The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Matt Striker & Marcus Cor Von)
If Punk is a loner, why is he with the Originals? I’m not sure he fits in any one of these factions, but hey, I don’t write this bologna.
Cor Von and Dreamer start off and both show some offense. At one point, Dreamer tags in Punk, they shove each other and then yell, “Get the tables!” in a mockery of The Dudley Boyz. And a very bad mockery as well. All six wrestlers are on the floor and we get a Pier 6 going. Inside, Punk ends up on the table and Monty goes for a Vader Bomb to try and win. Sandman canes the Alpha Male off the top and Burke ends up on the table with Striker on the top rope. Dreamer holds Burke on the table and Punk superplexes Striker through Burke and the table for the somewhat-quick win.
Winners: CM Punk, Tommy Dreamer & The Sandman
BLOOD COUNT: None after two matches
Edge is in the back getting ready. Orton confronts him and tells him he’s next if he gets drafted to SmackDown. Edge says if he does, he’ll end up like Batista will later tonight. Just have these guys feud, already. I guess it’s on again. Their match on Raw a couple weeks back was pretty decent.
Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler tell us RVD has sustained another concussion and has been taken from the arena. And dropped off where, Orlando?
Match # 3 – Ladder Match for World Tag Team Championship – The Hardys vs. The World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin)
This match will either be the highlight of the card or a car wreck. I hope it’s the former.
Lawler wants to know how high above the ring the belts are (and is adamant in finding out), so JR says he’ll call Bob Vila. Nice. Matt hits a bulldog on Haas earlier and that seems to be the move of choice tonight as I believe each match thus far has featured that particular move. Haas gets sandwiched in the corner with ladders and Benji is against the outer-most one as both take Poetry In Motion from the champs. So far, so good.
The challengers prop a ladder in the corner and go for a rolling slingshot-type move on Jeff and the move comes off horribly and the crowd lets out a chorus of boos. Jeff has no choice but to sell, but nothing really happened to hurt him. Haas stands in the middle of the ring looking confused. Yes, Chuck, you botched that move. Get over it. Start jobbing.
Team Extreme go to the outside and get taller ladders. One gets propped between the apron and ring barrier and the other goes in the ring. Haas takes a double front suplex on the outside ladder and Shelton gets backdropped onto the same one for good measure. After some okay back-and-forth action (Benjamin jumping from the top of a ladder inside onto Matt, who was propped against a ladder outside, a Side Effect from Matt on Haas and a T-Bone from Benjamin onto Jeff), Jeff sets up a ladder and starts climbing. Benjamin goes for a springboard move from the apron, slips (yes, like he’s been doing lately), but flips and kicks the ladder out from Jeff. Shelty B has a big smile on his face because he may have saved himself from going to Heat.
All four men are at the top of two ladders grabbing for the gold. TWGTT knocks the brothers off, but they land on their feet and knock the challengers off with Benji going to the floor and hitting the ladder on the way down. Inside, Matt starts going up as Jeff lands a Swanton Bomb on Haas. Both Hardys get to the top and haul down their straps to retain.
A near train wreck, but I’ve seen better from the Hardys on free TV – MUCH better.
Winners: The Hardys
BLOOD COUNT: None after three matches
Khali and his interpreter Sinjin Singh get mic time in the back. All I can understand Khali say is “John Cena.”
Match # 4 – Lumberjack Match – Kane vs. Mark Henry
The lumberjacks: Chris Benoit (yes, he has fallen this far), Val Venis, Santino Marella, Balls Mahoney, Stevie Richards, The Miz, Kevin Thorn, Chris Masters, Johnny Nitro, Chavo Guerrero, Kenny Dykstra and Carlito. What, no Ric Flair?
Basically a carbon copy of Friday’s match on SmackDown. Kane sells a back injury early (incurred Friday), but still flies from the top buckle to the floor landing on Henry, Masters, Thorn and Nitro. Dykstra and Chavo jump Kane after Kane chokeslams Henry and Dykstra gets chokeslammed for his efforts. Henry locks on a bear hug and Kane is done. From a flipping bear hug??? John “Bradshaw” Layfield notes that the “destroyer” Bruno Sammartino won “many titles” with the bear hug. Bruno probably wouldn’t want his name mentioned (check out my interview with Bruno on May 3, 2007 from the archives on this site). Is mentioning Bruno an inference that Henry is a future world champion? God, help us. The crowd boos heavily as Henry mopes to the back.
Winner by submission: Mark Henry
BLOOD COUNT: None after four matches
In the trainer’s room, the Hardys and WGTT brawl for no apparent reason. They argued about being hurt, but then like 20 refs ran in to break it up.
We now get a lengthy Lashley-Vince recap leading us into…
Match # 5 – Street Fight for the ECW World Title – Bobby Lashley vs. Vince McMahon
A total bore. Shane and Umaga join in and this is a re-run of Backlash and Judgment Day. Vince can’t do much because, let me remind you, HE IS NOT A WRESTLER. Vince’s prematch premonition is again mentioned and I gotta think something will happen later in the match.
Lashley starts the match by leaping over the top and aiming for Umaga. I say aiming because he missed the Samoan Bulldozer completely, but nicked him with his boot and Umaga sold as if he’d been shot.
This match (heck, this whole show so far) has its share of missed moves as Shane-O-Mac DDTs Lashley onto a chair, but, well, missed the chair. Shane and Vince hold Lashley down for an Umaga splash, but Lashley sits up, Vince falls forward and Umaga splashes the boss. Umaga rallies with his running butt smacker in the corner only to have Shane miss Lashley with Coast To Coast. This came moments after Shane put Lashley through one of the announce tables with an elbow from the top to the floor. Shane still has it, somewhat.
Umaga gets a Samoan Drop on Lashley and then VKM hits Lashley with a brutal spear. Just stick to kicking, punching and choking, Vince. Mr. McMahon takes several chair shots from Lashley and I sense the end is coming. Lashley comes back with a spear on Shane, knocks Umaga to the floor and then spears Vince (who has no clue how to take a bump) for the three-count and wins back the ECW title.
Winner and new ECW champion: Bobby Lashley
Whatever became of Vince’s premonition? Nice writing, people. Lashley smokes Vince with another spear after the bell. Sure, whatever.
BLOOD COUNT: None after five matches
Marella is backstage with Maria talking Italian. Todd Grisham walks up and asks Maria for her thoughts on the Pudding Match up next. Maria says the match will be decided on visibility, viscosity and temperature of the pudding. Candice Michelle arrives and asks for a good luck kiss – from Maria, who gracefully obliges. Marella walks off saying, “I love America.” Ron Simmons joins the party with a hilarious “Damn.”
Match # 6 – Pudding Match – Candice Michelle vs. Melina
A non-title match, which means Candice gets a shot either on Raw or at Vengeance in three weeks. This “match” was absolutely pointless. I’m not sure the crowd was still there because they were silent. Apparently, Melina tapped when Candice dunked her under the pudding.
Winner by submission: Candice Michelle
Maria shows up to interview Candice, but Melina throws pudding at Maria and all three (and the ref) end up in the pool.
BLOOD COUNT: None after six matches
A recap of the brief Batista-Edge encounters segues us to…
Match # 7 – Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Edge vs. Batista
Alright, a cage match – time for some serious juice. Uh-uh. Think again, folks. Batista’s right hamstring isn’t taped and, contrary to what some wrestling “websites” out there reported, Big Dave does not have a new tattoo on his right leg.
Edge tries to escape the cage several times early on, but to no avail. Batista puts Edge in a camel cutch, but the champ won’t give up to the move JBL says is shades of Gory Guerrero. I would have said The Iron Sheik, but okay, I’ll go with Gory.
Edge comes back with shoulder block to Batista while the challenger was on the apron and he meets the cage as well. After an exchange at the top of the cage and a superplex to Edge, Batista goes for a flying bodypress (yeah, I don’t know why either), but Edge dropkicks him in mid-air. Like I said in my predictions, Edge carries this match. Edge sets up for a spear and Batista meets him in mid-ring with a shoulder tackle. Both are down and Batista is favoring his right shoulder. Batista uses Edge as a battering ram into the cage and I think I see blood! Well, sort of. It’s coming from Edge’s mouth. He probably bit his tongue or his lip or something. After all, this is an “extreme” show, so why should we expect extreme matches. Why do I bother?
Batista gets sent into an exposed turnbuckle and takes a spear for a near-fall. Dave rallies with a Batista Bomb attempt, but Edge flips over Batista onto the top rope and tries to climb out of the cage. Batista goes up with him, but takes two low blows and then gets crotched on the top rope.
Edge climbs over as Batista crawls for the door. Edge drops down as Batista has only his hands on the floor and the Rated R Superstar keeps his gold.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Edge
Edge flees through the crowd and leaves the belt behind. Batista stares at it, pounds away at the announcer’s table and walks off.
BLOOD COUNT: A spot after seven matches
Is this show over yet? Oh wait, we still have to see Khali in the freaking main event. His matches with John Cena are recapped and we’ve finally arrived at…
Match # 8 – Falls Count Anywhere for the WWE Championship – John Cena vs. The Great Khali
Khali goes on the offensive early. This guy can’t even execute an Irish Whip for God’s sake. He misses a back kick by about two feet, but Cena sells as if he was actually hit. Khali misses a leg drop – badly – and Cena goes to the top. Khali chops the champ to the floor and gets a two-count. Cena’s head goes through a TV monitor and the fight is making its way into the crowd.
Over by the hard cameras, Cena clocks Khali with another monitor and shoves the boom camera (the one that swings above the crowd) into the challenger. Cena tries the F-U on two occasions, but Khali escapes with elbows to Cena’s face.
Khali press slams Cena onto a crane (why a crane even there is my question) and climbs the crane to continue the assault. Cena fights back and F-U’s Khali off the crane (only about six feet down) and onto the floor. Cena climbs down and gets the “miracle” pin to keep his cute little spinner belt.
Winner and still WWE Champion: John Cena
BLOOD COUNT: Just a stinking spot after eight matches
Cena poses and celebrates in the ring as this show thankfully ends.
So, let me get this straight. This was an Extreme Rules event, yet we had what, barely any weapons, NO BLOOD, one wrecked table, no barbed wire, one match with chair shots, a below-average ladder match, a PUDDING match and a ten-minute main event? And Vince wonders why he’s not a billionaire any more… Isn’t it obvious?
This show may have been better than 3/10 if it had been in New York City. Somehow, I just don’t think of sunny Florida as “extreme” when it comes to wrestling.
Matt Mackinder is glad this pay-piew happens one time a year. He actually thinks it was a good idea with all the gimmick matches, but pulled off horribly.