Dramatic recap of Bobby Lashley becoming the first person to break Chris Masters’ Masterlock, something that went unbroken for two years as Operation: Get Lashley The Fuck Over continues. Masters isn’t happy so he’s wrestling Lashley in a real match tonight, right here in Cleveland, Ohio.
Rob Van Dam & Sabu vs. Marcus Cor Von & Kevin Thorn
RVD and Sabu look as happy as Scott Keith answering e-mails so I’m going to take a guess and say they’re not winning. Thorn and RVD go at it yet again with RVD’s kicks still being better than anything the greasy vampire can offer. Sabu tags in and hits Air Sabu in the corner with RVD’s assistance. After a double-leg-drop, RVD tags back in but misses a big kick and ends up crotched on the top rope so Cor Von clotheslines him off and out the ring. Thorn stretches RVD as Styles criticises The New Breed for not respecting The ECW Originals but Tazz defends them saying ”why should they?” It’s a good job these two are talking because The New Breed had one promo with Vince McMahon and it’s been up to the commentators to fill in the blanks since then. Styles begrudgingly accepts that if it wasn’t for The New Breed, the Originals wouldn’t be at Wrestlemania. RVD makes the hot tag to Sabu who gives us his first springboard-related offence with a clothesline and follows with a springboard legdrop. A springboard Tornado DDT (alright mate, calm down) gets two and it breaks down with RVD sending Thorn out the ring with a Frankensteiner. Thorn distracts Sabu (after RVD props him on the apron and does everything but shout DO THE SPOT, IDIOT) and we get THE POUNCE OF DEATH.
Cor Von goes straight for the pin rather than fanny around with that submission hold he’s been using and that’s definitely the finish.
Winners: Marcus Cor Von & Kevin Thorn (Well what do you know, the two guys with Buff Bagwell expressions lost. The New Breed needed the win as RVD had bossed Thorn every time they’d wrestled and you might as well destroy Sabu as he’s not doing anything else. Apart from springboards.)
Snitsky vs. Mike Tolar
Tolar’s an AIW guy. I’m surprised Snitsky hasn’t wrestled there yet considering the random mix of great indie wrestlers and WCW Saturday Night alumni that gets booked. Snitsky gives him a big boot and it’s over in thirty seconds.
Winner: The All New All Bald Apart From His Shoulders Snitsky (Styles gets his ”Someone tell Mike’s parents he’s not coming home…ever” line in, which would mean something if he’d taken more than A BIG BOOT.)
Next Hall of Fame inductee is…The Sheik. Oh that’s why they kept Sabu around. Plenty of vintage footage is shown, credited to Big Time Wrestling but they show clips from the FMW Fire Death Match which is surprising because all of those clips are cut out of the ECW Hardcore TV episodes. OK I’m typing about shit no-one cares about so let’s move on.
CM Punk vs. Hardcore Holly
Holly had multiple shots at Lashley despite losing every time so it makes sense he’d come back to Punk. Punk was featured in Spin Magazine about what music he listens to. I hope he answered ”Minor Threat, duh” and the rest of the article was left blank. Holly wasn’t asked but if Foley’s book was accurate it would have been ”ELVIS ELVIS ELVIS.” Crowd hates Holly and loves Punk, Styles reminds us Holly ended Punk’s undefeated streak. Elijah Burke wanders out, watching Punk as he’s still scouting him for The New Breed. Holly should have joined them like Shane Douglas joining The New Blood in WCW. It’s all been strikes and armdrags so far but Holly finally gets the advantage after a Stun Gun on the ropes. Holly chokes and chops Punk like the rookie Tony Atlas thinks he is and blocks a backdrop attempt with a kick to the face. Punk blocks a corner charge and takes over with his Muay Thai offence (make your own UFC joke) but Holly halts the flying knee/bulldog and turns it into a kick to the ”lower area” that definitely isn’t the cock. They jostle on the top rope with Punk winning and landing a leg-drop. Burke jumps on the apron to distract and Thorn snaps Holly’s head on the ropes. Punk sees it, has a think and decides ”fuck it” and gives Holly the GTS for the win.
Winner: CM Punk (Holly works as ECW’s gatekeeper and his matches last longer than five minutes so whoever wrestles him (and hopefully wins) looks credible. Punk taking the tainted victory is something interesting at least.)
Backstage, Punk tells Burke he didn’t need his help. Well so much for that intrigue. Burke towels off a sweaty Punk in a moment of bromance and Punk looks (sexually) conflicted.
In the ring, Extreme Expose bounce and jiggle to cleanse the gay away.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Elijah Burke
These were the last two in the battle royal last week, with Dreamer winning after a shot to the ”lower area.” Dreamer arm-drags Burke and it’s so painful Burke rolls out of the ring. Burke suckers Dreamer as he comes in and bonks his head on the ring post. Burke locks in a chinlock and Sandman gets the crowd going. Did we skip five minutes? I can never tell with Burke if there’s time restraints every time he wrestles or if he’s simply picking moves out of thin air. Dreamer nails the neckbreaker and his Dusty Rhodes-ish punch combo. Fallaway Slam and a Tree of Woe connect, even with Burke trying to sit up as it was about to hit. Burke grabs the ropes to block a DDT attempt and bonks Dreamer with the Elijah Express double knees for the win.
Winner: Elijah Burke (Burke’s finish is weak looking but Tazz does his best to explain the uncovered legs do more damage and all that. Dreamer got next to no reaction which is exactly what a Burke singles match in 2007 deserves.)
Bobby Lashley vs. Chris Masters
We get a replay of the dramatic Masterlock break because there’s too much time left and no sane individual wants this match to go longer than five minutes.
Then we get a Wrestlemania 23 All Grown Up advert with Steve Austin. I wasn’t a fan of the All Grown Up theme on account of I hate kids.
Oh, still some time left so here’s some celebrities of varying quality giving their thoughts on McMahon vs. Trump. Among them are Jim Cramer the Mad Money guy, Tony Hawk the video game franchise, Ricki Lake the John Waters actress, John Salley the NBA Guy, Jewel The Roast of Rob Lowe Singer, Jimmie Johnson the NASCAR guy, Kevin Federline The Man Who Pinned John Cena, and John Elway The Cartman’s Dad all basically saying ”woah Trump’s hair is really bad.”
When that’s over, Lashley makes his entrance to a reaction (one of the few on this show, come on Ohio you’ve only got that rollercoaster that nearly killed Fabio going for you) and by the time the bell rings there’s four minutes left. Perfect! They square off and the crowd chants ”boring” less than a minute into the match. Jesus, go kill a low-flying bird with your heads, proud Ohio-uns. Lashley sends Masters soaring with a big back body drop and clotheslines Masters to the outside. Chris sends Bobby into the ring steps and gives him a big-arse suplex back in the ring. Chris motions for the Masterlock but Lashley counters it into a Full Nelson Slam. Powerslam by Lashley sets up another big-arse suplex which sets up the Running Powerslam for the win.
Winner: Bobby Lashley (Both of these guys became exponentially better ten years later but this was a short, quick match with two big guys slamming each other which was enough to shut the miserable fans up quickly. I think someone watched last week’s Lashley vs. Orton match and went ”oh fuck, less of that” and had Lashley stick to sprints rather than marathons. I approve.)
Overall: Wrestlemania needs to hurry up as there’s only the slight interest of Punk possibly joining New Breed is keeping the show going. All the matches are ready start Wrestlemania early if need be. Sadly it’s not for another week so expect Lashley to save a baby from a house fire next week.
Highlight was THAT POUNCE. Ah what the hell here it is again: