ECW makes a splash
If you’re anything like me, ECW for months has been nothing more than background noise while doing other things on a Tuesday night. Every once in a while, however, there is an ECW episode that is worthy of my full attention. Last night’s show was one of them – and the sensational Shelton Benjamin wasn’t even on it.
The show, which took place in Corpus Christi, Texas, was fueled by two strong segments that were a departure from the norm. The main event pitted ECW champion Chavo Guerrero against CM Punk in a non-title, first-ever Gulf of Mexico match, which was a come-as-you-are streetfight that began in the ring and could end only when one man threw his opponent into the Gulf of Mexico.
This was a good brawl with an entertaining stipulation that helped breathe some life into what has mostly been a flat feud between Guerrero and Punk. Before Guerrero ended up in the water, both wrestlers were nearly run over by a car, and they took turns slamming each other on the hoods of cars.
Hardcore matches that spill outside the arena were a wrestling staple during wrestling’s last boom period, but eventually they were played out and fans became bored with them. This match seemed fresh, however, because it hasn’t been done much in recent years.
The other element of the show that stood out was Joey Styles’ pre-taped sit-down interview with Stevie Richards. In the piece, an emotional Richards talked about the neck injury that he suffered in the original ECW and his multiple throat surgeries. It was compelling stuff simply because it was real. If WWE plays this one right, Richards could really get over as a sympathetic babyface, and whoever his adversary turns out to be could generate a lot of heel heat.
One final thought on last night’s show: I see something in Kofi Kingston. Although he’s a little green, Kingston is athletic, has some unique moves and showed a lot of charisma in his vignettes.