Task - Try to rebook the first ten weeks of ECW on Sci-Fi, from the first television show through to Summerslam. Consider it an experiment to see if this would have been more palatable than what we got. And if not, then perhaps yes, it was always doomed.
For this, I’ve made a few assumptions, some of which may or may not be completely realistic, but as a backbone:
*I can’t bring in anybody except those assigned to ECW in real life throughout the first 10 weeks.
*Every match will be with old ECW rules – you don’t need to label anything “Extreme Rules” or limit things to one per show. Not every match needs to be a weapons-fest, but leave it open.
*As it’s a one hour show and allowing for an overrun, I’ll book 42 to 48 minutes per show (considering commercial time).
*I am forced to use John Cena on Week 1 as they did in real life, but beyond that, ECW remains its own show, an island unto itself with no crossing over to or from Raw or Smackdown. ECW is its own world if I’m booking. No Edge, Orton, Flair, Kane, Undertaker or whoever else they want to bring in for some cheap short-term ratings.
*This is hoping/assuming nobody gets injured or suspended for the first 10 week run (which in real life they did, but you can’t predict).
*Van Dam will lose the WWE Title on a WWE show somewhere in this 10 weeks – fine, I’m not booking that, and as far as ECW TV goes, it’s not referenced.
*If we can get the first episode of TV in the Hammerstein, that’d be great. If we can get every episode there, better yet. Not essential, but preferable.
Intro Video [30 secs]
Heyman welcomes us in the ring, RVD is brought out. The ECW Championship is presented, and RVD keeps the WWE belt too (just as in real life). At one point, Cena tries to break in through the crowd, but doesn’t make it over the barrier and is thrown out, because this isn’t WWE. Heyman can get a verbal shot in on Cena as he’s being taken out. RVD takes back over as Cena is dragged off, and mostly talks about being the top guy. Suddenly, an unfamiliar voice plays over the speakers, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” CM Punk walks out. Styles and Taz respond immediately like a star is in our midst. Punk cuts a straight edge promo on Van Dam, “Mr. 4:20”, for being a bad example and the wrong man to lead ECW. Punk declares himself at the forefront of the New Breed Unleashed. RVD trash talks back, and a match is made tonight for the ECW Title – RVD Vs. Punk [13 mins]
Sabu clip – Up Next! [10 secs]
Kelly Kelly promo, introducing herself for the first time. As in real life, tonight, she says she’s going to strip for us. [30 secs]
Credible/Francine short promo, introducing her as the Queen of Extreme, and him as “THE Impact Player”. [1 min]
MATCH: Sabu Vs. Justin Credible w/ Francine. Sabu wins. [7 mins]
Short promo to intro Sandman – somebody is getting caned tonight. [30 secs]
Heyman is backstage with Stevie Richards, CW Anderson and Al Snow, all asking Paul what they’re doing tonight. Paul says he had plans for everybody, but Punk showing up has changed that. Sorry, maybe next week. They don’t look impressed. [2 mins]
MATCH: Tommy Dreamer/Balls Mahoney Vs. FBI – Dreamer gets pin [6 mins]
Post-Match, Kelly decides this is the time to get in the ring to do her dance. As she gets going, Trinity objects, catfight spot [2 mins]
Backstage, RVD is on his way [1 min]
MATCH: RVD Vs. Punk – Intros [3 mins]
MATCH: RVD Vs. Punk – No Contest [13 mins total]
Run-ins from Snow, Anderson, Richards, attacking RVD. Sandman runs-in to cane the hell out of them. Sandman does his beer can to the head shtick, and in the process accidentally throws it all over Punk, who freaks out and attacks Sandman. Punk and Sandman brawl to the back.
With Van Dam along in the ring, Kurt Angle appears out of nowhere, attacks RVD and lays him out. Angle rips off his ECW shirt, grabs the mic and says he convinced Heyman to draft him so he could come and bury ECW personally, once and for all, because ECW sucks.
Establish Punk as a top level heel early on, and turn Kurt heel to touch on a reality that people can accept as legit, playing off the past. Build up Dreamer and Sabu as valuable commodities, intro Kelly. A lot of the 30 second intro videos are to refresh or introduce the characters to the casual crowd. Cena being carted off sets the tone, and guarantees a lively atmosphere early.
Paul Heyman opens the show and says Rob Van Dam isn’t in the building yet, but he will be, and he’s vowed to get his hands on Kurt Angle tonight. [1 min]
Intro Video [30 secs]
MATCH: Tommy Dreamer Vs. CW Anderson. Kurt Angle runs in 30 seconds in and destroys both with Angle Slams [2 mins total]
Angle In-Ring Promo after – buries ECW. He hates it. He won an Olympic Gold in 1996, went to ECW one time and was disgusted. When he would tell people he was a great wrestler, people thought he was one of these masochistic losers. At the first One Night Stand he vowed to kill ECW and failed. When he heard it was coming back, he talked Paul into drafting him, but deep down he just wanted a chance to kill it once and for all. He says his goal, his mission, is to win the ECW World Title, and then throw it down, just like Shane Douglas did to the NWA belt. The fitting, full circle end to ECW. He hated ECW, and hates the chant. Angle turns his attention to the fans, when Tommy Dreamer gets back in and brawls with Angle, as refs pull-apart the two. [6 mins]
Recap last segment [30 secs]
Backstage, Dreamer is talking to Heyman. Nobody loves ECW more than him. What Kurt said last week makes him sick. What he said tonight was a disgrace. He has bled, sweat and broken his back for ECW, so if he wants to kill ECW, then he’s going to have to go through me. I want him tonight. Heyman says yes. [2 mins]
MATCH: Sabu Vs. Al Snow – Quick pre-match promo with Al about how he doesn’t want to make mistakes with this second chance, and does the Head shtick. Sabu wins the match decisively. [8 mins]
Kelly promo – I had so much fun last week I want to do it again tonight, but this time, I’ll finish! [30 secs]
Video feature on Dreamer’s ECW past [1 min]
Kelly comes out to dance, but before we get to the good stuff, the video cuts out to…[1.5 mins]
CM Punk video promo from Chicago. Sometimes, you need to have self-control. Explains straight edge and what an insult last week was to him. Loathes that he lives in a world where a failure in life like the Sandman is considered an icon. Footage of Sandman’s career is spliced in over the top. ECW is a cesspool of drugs and depravity, and nobody is a bigger offender than the Sandman. Punk declares war. He’s straight edge, and that means he’s better than you. [6 mins]
MATCH: Balls/Roadkill/Danny Doring Vs. FBI (Little Guido/Big Guido/Tony Mamaluke) [5 mins] – Roadkill gets pin.
Trinity goes after Mahoney post-match, when an unnamed rock chick hits the ring and goes after her. She’s pulled away, but she’s clearly a friend of Mahoney. Styles asks who it is, Taz doesn’t have an answer. [1 min]
It’s announced that next week, it’s CM Punk Vs. Sandman [30 secs]
MATCH: Kurt Angle Vs. Tommy Dreamer – Angle goes over, after Credible/Francine distract Dreamer. [10 mins]
Angle gets the mic, he wants RVD right now to beat up more of ECW’s icons. RVD’s still not here. Kurt turns attention to Styles and Taz. Things get tense as he approaches them, but RVD arrives for a wild brawl (no refs to pull apart this time) to close. [2 mins]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis: Heavy heat on Kurt, between the attack, promo, win and final angle. The Punk promo should shift his focus to Sandman for now. A show of explaining heel motivations. The unnamed rock chick who attacks Trinity is Ariel (who we’ll just call Shelly), who we’ll have as a babyface and pair her with Balls. Credible needs to be built as a midcard player in the absence of Test/Thorn in that position, so this begins a series with Dreamer. Kelly’s pattern of being interrupted starts. Sabu spotlighted again.
We open with RVD pacing with Heyman, RVD wants Angle. Heyman explains not making the match because of RVD’s frame of mind. RVD thinks Paul is fearful that Angle might win. Heyman is honest, and says maybe a little. This is Kurt Angle. RVD says he’s RVD, and he’s the best. Heyman believes in Van Dam, but Angle is out of control and disrespectful, and he doesn’t want to set a precedent and reward that type of behaviour. Tonight, RVD will defend the title, but not against Angle. [3 mins]
Intro Video [30 secs]
MATCH: CM Punk Vs. The Sandman. Wild brawl. An unknown man attacks Sandman, helping Punk win. Post-match, Punk breaks a bottle over Sandman’s head, and pours a beer on his fallen body. [12 mins]
Recap Punk’s post-match antics. [30 secs]
Punk is backstage with the unnamed man (Mike Knox), celebrating. Punk says this is just the beginning. [1 min]
MATCH: The Zombie Vs. Big Show. Zombie comes out, does his promo, and Big Show kills him. After, he gets the mic and says “Sorry, Boss’ Orders” [3 mins]
Kelly goes to dance on her own platform. Kurt Angle comes out, stalks her, insults her, and threatens to break her ankle. He calls out Van Dam. RVD comes out, but Heyman and flock of security are keeping them apart, no contact made. [4-5 mins]
Backstage with Heyman grilling Angle. Orders him to leave, and if he doesn’t, he’s suspended for 30 days. Angle says fine, he’ll go. But what happens next week will be your fault. [2 mins]
Sandman staggers around, he wants to fight Punk, and also he wants a beer. [1 min]
MATCH: Balls Mahoney w/Shelly Vs. CW Anderson – Balls goes over, showcase new act [6 mins]
Credible/Francine talk about attacking Dreamer last week, says he’s been parading around as the ECW icon since it closed, when Credible beat him every time they wrestled. Now ECW is back, he’s going to finish what he started back then. And like back then, he’s going to be ECW Champion tonight. Video clips of original Dreamer feud and Credible as ECW Champion overlay. [2.5 mins]
MATCH: RVD Vs. Justin Credible – ECW Title. Van Dam wins, Dreamer chases off Francine, which distracts Justin for the finish. RVD celebrates to close the show.[13 min]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis: A strong win for Van Dam and feel good moment after 2 weeks of heated endings. Progresses Dreamer/Credible. Balls’ win showcases the new act with Shelly, a platonic friendship (could even be Balls’ sister). Punk gets a win over Sandman, but with the debut of Mike Knox as his running buddy, the beer pour and bottle breaking, it only progresses the story. Big Show’s story begins, and Kelly is cut off once more in the ongoing joke. We do, in fact, do the Zombie deal, which isn’t a bad idea as a quick gag. The issue is the placement – in real life, it was the first match of ECW on Sci-Fi, and the Zombie’s mere existence lowered the tone. After a couple of weeks of seriousness, doing a short, goofy angle like this is more acceptable.
Intro Video [30 secs]
Styles and Taz announce that RVD and Sabu will be teaming up tonight against the FBI, and if you haven’t seen them as a team before, you’re in for something special. [1 min]
MATCH: Kurt Angle Vs. Danny Doring – Angle destroys him [3 mins]
Post-Match, Angle says he wants to tear ECW down brick by brick. And tonight we’ll see just what he thinks of everything ECW stands for. [1 min]
Backstage, Heyman is watching with RVD, who tells Paul to let him at Kurt, because he thinks something bad might happen otherwise. Heyman tells him that last week he only had security because he needed RVD fresh for the title match. This week, it’s the wild west, do what you want. Van Dam leaves. [2 mins]
Backstage with Punk and Knox. Punk is talking to somebody off camera about how they were the most talented, underused and underappreciated talent of the original ECW. “Me and Knox both agree”. Camera pans to Stevie Richards, sitting and listening intently. Punk says there’s one thing that’s always been missing – self-respect. Stevie was a follower for Raven, and a joke. He was a leader of the RTC, and he was a geek. But if he embraced straight edge, he can be the one thing he’s always wanted to be – better. Richards thinks, and holds out his taped fist. Punk draws the X on it, as Knox approves. Punk says tonight you show the Sandman who Stevie Richards is. [3 mins]
Al Snow is in the ring with Head. Again, says he wants to right the wrongs of his first run – stuff like not being focused…but he falls back to doing the Head shtick for the easy pop. Big Show comes out. Grabs the mic, and says “Sorry, Boss’ orders”. Styles points out that’s the same thing Show said last week when he killed the Zombie.[2 mins]
MATCH: Big Show Vs. Al Snow – Show wins [3 mins]
Kelly comes out in the aisle and says she’s finally going to finish her dance. She begins, when Credible and Francine interrupt. Francine tells her to beat it since she’s the Queen of Extreme. Kelly bails. Credible wants Dreamer since he cost him the ECW Title last week. Dreamer comes out, and fights Justin until Francine low blows him. Credible pulls out the barbed wire sphere. That’s Incredible on the barbed wire. Dreamer busted open. [5 mins]
RVD looking for Angle, finds Kelly getting dressed [1 min]
Recap of Credible/Dreamer angle. [1 min]
RVD looking for Angle, finds Balls and Shelly hanging out. They haven’t seen Kurt. [1 min]
FBI go a goofy promo, talk about the match with RVD/Sabu tonight. [1 min]
MATCH: Sandman Vs. Stevie Richards. Sandman wants Punk, but Punk/Knox keep safe distance. Back and forth, Sandman wins. Knox attempts run-in and gets caned too. Punk runs in but dodges shot. Sandman pours a beer on Richards’ fallen body in response to last week. [10 mins]
MATCH: RVD/Sabu Vs. FBI – RVD/Sabu win, total old style showcase. [8 mins]
Post-Match, Big Guido attacks, but Sabu puts him through table on floor. Angle comes from the crowd and gets Van Dam with the Angle Slam, and ties him in the ropes. Teases hitting RVD with a chair, but instead slaps RVD to wake him up. Angle picks up ECW belt, waits for RVD to see him with the title, and spits on it. Styles is disgusted. Taz leaves the booth and starts screaming at Kurt from ringside. Heyman, Sabu, Sandman, Balls, Anderson, Roadkill and Show all hit the ring, and Angle bails. Styles calls it the lowest moment in ECW history as we leave the air. Heyman is furious in the ring. [5 mins]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis: The biggest angle so far, Angle spitting on the belt to be treated as sacrilege. Punk’s crew expands to three, with a heater and a stooge to riff off going forward. Sandman gets a positive show, the beer pour on Stevie a callback to last week. Sabu still spotlighted. Big Show’s story of destroying people on Heyman’s behalf continues, ongoing Kelly joke leads to Credible getting heat on her and Dreamer, to amp him up.
Show begins with a video from “earlier today” in an empty arena – Heyman is telling all the wrestlers that after Angle spat on the title belt last week, he’s suspended him for 30 days. The roster is unhappy. Heyman says that it’s without pay. Paul says the biggest punishment is to let him in and let all of you destroy him. But ECW has been my life for years, and on general principle, somebody that would do that doesn’t deserve to be here. Paul brought him in, so he’s made the call to ice him. [2/3 mins]
Intro Video [30 secs]
We go to Styles and Taz, who say they won’t be showing the footage to recap what happened last week. Angle spat on the belt, but you’ll never see it again. Taz talks about everything he did to be ECW champion, and mentions he broke his neck on the path to winning, just like Angle did in the Olympics. The ECW Title was his gold medal, and everybody’s in ECW, and it was a disgusting display, and shows how low Angle is.[2 mins]
MATCH: RVD Vs. CW Anderson. RVD destroys him quickly, RVD hits the Angle Slam on CW through a table as a message to Kurt. [4 mins]
Post-Match, Styles enters the ring to talk to RVD about the suspension. RVD talks about how long he fought to get the World Title, and that he’s not happy Angle was suspended. He makes the challenge to Angle, he will wrestle him for the ECW Title, because he wants to beat Angle and show him how much the ECW Title really means. [3 mins]
A graphic reminds us Tonight – Dreamer Vs. Credible [30 secs]
Recap of RVD’s challenge [1 min]
Backstage, Heyman is with Kelly. Kelly is complaining about the interruptions. “Maybe if we blocked out some time just for me?” Dreamer appears and says “Mind if I interrupt?” Heyman says he’ll catch up with Kelly. Dreamer approaches him about the suspension. Dreamer sympathises with Paul, but questions icing Kurt. We’d rip him apart, isn’t that what you want? Heyman says of course it is, but I don’t want to even give him the chance to do what he did again. He doesn’t want to hear another bad word about ECW out of Angle. Dreamer says that to some of the guys, it looks like Heyman protected Kurt with the suspension. We linger on Heyman, who doesn’t seem to like that line. [2 mins]
MATCH: Sabu Vs. Stevie Richards – Sabu wins [6 mins]
Post-Match, Punk berates Richards and slaps him across the face. Asks if he’s had a drink. Stevie says maybe just one. Punk slaps him again. [1 min]
Credible/Francine Promo – Talk about how good it felt to see Dreamer bleed last week. He’ll do it again tonight. [2 mins]
Sandman comes out and wants to fight Punk. Punk comes out and verbally runs him down on a slow walk to the ring. Punk gets on the apron and turns his attention to the crowd, when Sandman grabs him and pulls him in, the fight is on. Sandman is kicking ass. Hits the White Russian Legsweep and grabs a beer. He looks at Punk and starts to move towards him, the announcers reading his mind that he’s going to pour beer on Punk. Before he gets to, Knox runs-in but gets caned. Richards is in and hits the Steviekick. Stevie handcuffs Sandman, Punk gets up and canes him to death. [7 mins]
We recap the handcuffed caning of Sandman [30 secs]
MATCH: Dreamer Vs. Credible – Dreamer wins. [8 mins]
Big Show attacks Dreamer out of nowhere after the match, throwing him to the floor and chokeslamming him through a table. Show takes the mic, and just says: “Sorry…boss’ orders”. Styles and Taz caught off-guard as the show fades to black.[1 min]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis – The Angle/RVD feud can’t get hotter with another angle yet, we need to stretch out the hatred of the controversial act and create a need to see RVD/Kurt without delivering. RVD shows fire in his match. Punk’s crew gets heat on Sandman and develops with Stevie stepping up. The Big Show carrying out the orders of the boss takes a darker turn than the previous two light-hearted situations, and creates some intrigue for a potential Dreamer/Heyman conflict.
Show opens up backstage on Paul Heyman with a defensive look on his face saying “I don’t know what to tell you” to someone off screen. We pan out, and Dreamer is standing there, arms crossed, with a bemused expression. Heyman claims he’s innocent, and he didn’t tell Big Show to attack him. Heyman isn’t cowardly in his defense, more matter of fact with a bit of a jovial tone. Dreamer says he didn’t believe Show either, but after what Dreamer said to Paul about protecting Kurt Angle last week, he thought he might have ruffled his feathers. Heyman says Tommy wasn’t first to suggest he was protecting Kurt with the suspension, and he expected it, and certainly doesn’t have any hard feelings. Heyman says there is a problem though – if Tommy wants answers, he’s got to get them out of a 7 foot giant. [3 mins]
Intro Video [30 secs]
Joey Styles and Tazz open saying that for those who don’t know, Kurt Angle is in the middle of a 30 day suspension for spitting on the ECW title. They again say they won’t be showing the footage of the disgraceful act, but RVD is scheduled to defend the ECW Title next week, and with Angle on the bench, a Four Way Dance will take place tonight to determine Rob’s challenger between Sabu, CM Punk, Tommy Dreamer and Big Show. [1 min]
MATCH: The Sandman Vs. Tony Mamaluke – Sandman wins, canes all the FBI [6 mins]
Post-Match, Sandman calls out Punk and says your ass is mine. [1 min]
Dreamer goes to the ring to call out Big Show. Show comes out and stays at the entrance way. Tommy asks him to tell the truth about why he attacked him last week. Big Show says that it might be hard to hear, but he was telling the truth – it was nothing personal at all. In fact, he likes Tommy, but he was following the boss’ orders like always. Dreamer calls his bluff, and says Heyman told him Show is lying. Big Show says “The only thing I can tell you for sure is that I’m telling the truth”. Dreamer says he’ll fight him if he has to, but Big Show leaves. Tommy is confused in the ring, when Justin Credible appears from behind and attacks him, laying him out. Styles wonders if Dreamer will make it to the main event. [6 mins]
RVD is backstage with Heyman, and asks if Paul’s heard whether Angle has accepted his challenge. Heyman says he hasn’t spoken to Kurt since he suspended him. He also doesn’t want Van Dam worrying about that right now, since he has a title defense next week. RVD says he’ll be watching the main event closely. [3 min]
Credible and Francine say they’re not done with Dreamer, and won’t be until his career is over, and leave the building. [1 min]
Kelly comes out to dance, but there’s a power cut in the arena, so we cut to commercial with the dance unfinished.[2 mins]
Joey Styles comes back and says that during the commercial they got word that during Kelly’s striptease, Kurt Angle entered the building as a ticket buying fan. We show the footage of Kurt entering. Styles explains that when the power cut out, our cameras lost him, and we haven’t been able to locate him since. Bottom line is – Angle is here. [1 min]
MATCH: Balls Mahoney w/Shelly Vs. Al Snow – a weapon-based brawl, Snow wins with Head, and surprisingly hits the Snow Plow on Shelly after the match, leaves both laying. Post-Match, Al grabs a mic and says he finally “Gets it”. [6 mins]
CM Punk promo on how desperate and pathetic Sandman is, craving revenge, addicted to violence, a junkie and a bum in every sense. And it all comes down to failure. You can’t beat me, so you turn to your vices. Just like the people at home wash away the disappointment of the crap job and the ugly wife with booze, masking their self-pity with pills and drugs. But Punk is better than you, and better than that. And as a result, tonight he looks ahead, and starts to fulfill the mission he had when he first appeared in ECW, and that’s winning the title. [3 minutes]
Punk Vs. Sabu Vs. Dreamer Vs. Big Show…doesn’t happen. Dreamer makes it out, and Big Show follows. Dreamer conflicted about what he’s going to do about Big Show. All four are in the ring, when the crowd rises, as Kurt arrives in the front row.
Security steps in. The four guys in the ring all make a move towards Angle as even more security appears. Kurt pie-faces somebody, and it kicks off. Heyman comes running down to help the chaos, with Dreamer telling Paul to let them get him. Sandman runs out to cane Punk, and a bunch of the security guys get levelled as well. A chaotic, bench clearing brawl, with Angle getting free until RVD arrives and dives on the pile to get to Kurt. In the melee, Heyman gets pushed down, and screams for everybody to get Angle. Kurt flees out the building into the street, the ECW guys running him off, as the scene fades to black. [11 minutes]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis – Throw the seed of doubt in about Dreamer/Heyman/Show angle. Looking for a unique ending with the crazy brawl, portray Angle so universally hated by faces/heels, old/new ECW guys, wrestlers/staff. Kelly joke continues. Give Sandman a win, Punk a promo, and keep Credible alive. Snow goes from heel by default and trying to find his place to committing a vicious act and proclaiming he finally understands – segue into him being the wiseass vet. RVD/Angle is the match we still want.
Paul Heyman opens the show, talking about last week’s insanity, saying Angle is still on suspension, and he hated how they advertised a match but didn’t deliver because of Kurt. However, he promised an ECW Title defence tonight, dammit, it’ll happen. And it’s going be a good one, because Rob Van Dam will defend his title against Sabu. [2 mins]
Intro Video [30 secs]
Punk and crew come to the ring. Punk talks about his issue with the Sandman, and how he can finally relate to the losers who can’t beat addiction, because it feels like no matter what he does, Sandman is always there. Replays the angle with the broken beer bottle and pouring beer on him, Sandman pouring on Stevie, and the retaliation with cuffs and cane. Punk says he declared war, he bought in the toughest guy from the south side of Chicago in Mike Knox, and channelled the untapped talent of Stevie Richards, and tonight, we’re going to show how Straight Edge makes us better than you. [3 mins]
MATCH: Punk/Knox/Stevie Vs. Doring/Roadkill/Shannon Moore – Moore shines with a dive, but Punk’s crew wins.[5 mins]
Sandman hits the ring afterwards and canes Stevie again, but Knox and Punk escape. [1 min]
Back with Punk’s crew, Punk furious that Sandman showed them up. Stevie says “Sorry Punk”, and Punk tells Stevie to stop treating him like he’s his leader. Stevie says sorry. Punk rolls eyes. Look, if it’s a fight he wants, then next week, Knox, I want you to go in that ring and take him out. Knox agrees [1 min]
Backstage, we’re following Tommy Dreamer, who walks up to the building entrance to Big Show, who is standing with arms folded. Dreamer says he knows Show said he was telling the truth last week, and that it was nothing personal. Show says that’s right. Dreamer has a hard time swallowing getting attacked and not knowing why. Tommy asks him to come with him to talk to Heyman to clear up what happened. Big Show says he can’t leave his post. Dreamer asks why, Show says “Boss’ orders”. Dreamer doesn’t like hearing those words, and asks if he’s there to make sure Angle doesn’t enter the building tonight. Show just replies again, “Boss’ Orders”. Dreamer annoyed, but says fine, but whenever this is done, we’ve got to clear this up. [2 mins]
Al Snow is by himself with Head. Says he spent weeks trying to help himself and fix Al Snow, and realised he was being selfish. This is the Island of Misfit Toys, and he’s in a position as a veteran to help others. So he will. Says he laid out Balls and Shelly last week to teach them that wrestling is a cruel mistress, and you can’t bring your friends along just to have a good time. If it wasn’t him that hurt them, it would be somebody else, and they wouldn’t be so kind. He only wishes he had somebody that taught him the lessons he’s going to teach. While he speaks, Al is rubbing the words “Help Me” off the forehead of the mannequin Head. [2 min]
MATCH: Justin Credible w/ Francine Vs. Balls Mahoney – No Shelly after last week, Balls in a bad, bad mood. Credible wins after Snow distraction. Snow screams that Balls needs to focus, and attacks him. 2 on 1, Dreamer out afterwards, faces hold the ring to close the scene. [7 mins]
It is announced that Kelly Kelly was supposed to do a live dance tonight, but she has had car problems and won’t be here. Oh well. [1 min]
Sandman promo on Punk and crew – accepts the fight with Knox and says “Next week, the beer’s on you” [2 min]
Video on Sabu’s run of form on ECW lately – it’s pointed out that he hasn’t lost since ECW TV began.[1 min]
MATCH: RVD Vs. Sabu starts – ECW talent surrounds the ringside area to watch/protect from Angle. [7 mins]
MATCH: RVD Vs. Sabu continues, RVD wins. Styles talks about what they’re willing to do for the ECW Title. Post-match handshake and raise each other’s arms. [11 mins]
All of a sudden, the screen cuts from the raised arms of Sabu and Van Dam to footage of Angle spitting on the ECW Title. We see it several times, from different angles, in slow motion.
We then erratically cut to the production truck, where Kurt Angle has broken in, but is now surrounded by security and Heyman. Kurt yells at the crew not to stop playing the footage, and Heyman is cursing at Angle for ruining a great match and moment. Angle yells back saying the suspension is over next week. [2 mins]
Booking Objective/Synopsis: The Dreamer/Show/Heyman issue is referenced, but no big development, just keep it buzzing. Idea to present a babyface match, even a crazy one that the roster is into, before showing the contrast of the ultimate show of disrespect again by Angle. Punk/Sandman continues, and cross-pollination of Dreamer/Credible and Snow/Mahoney to lead to match next week.
We start "Earlier Today" - Heyman backstage tells everybody: Angle is back tonight. I know you all want to kill him, and I do too. If he starts something with any of you, then by all means finish it. But I don't want anybody touching Angle unless physically provoked tonight. Little Guido speaks up and says this is stupid, asking why they've got to hold off. Heyman says I need him in the ring in the main event segment. The guys don't look happy. [1 min]
Intro Video [30 Secs]
MATCH: The Sandman Vs. Mike Knox, Stevie Richards is on commentary - Sandman wins. Canes Stevie too. Post-match, Sandman pours beer on Knox's body. Punk watches on disgusted. Sandman challenges Punk to fight him one-on-one, but Punk backs down. [10 mins]
Kurt Angle arrives in the building. Everybody is staring daggers at him, but he knows he's untouchable. Angle calls the onlookers punks, jabronis, and losers who will never accomplish anything, walks off cocky, knowing he can't be touched. [1 min]
Backstage with Punk, on his own, after being shown up again. Punk on a tirade about Sandman being every absentee father and deadbeat husband you've ever known, and these morons cheer him like he's better than Punk, like he's special. He's the least special person in the business. Storms off in a huff. [2 mins]
MATCH: Dreamer/Mahoney Vs. Credible/Snow - Credible pins Dreamer after Tommy spanks Francine. [7 mins]
Kelly backstage with Shelly, who was watching. Shelly says she's feeling better, but Balls told her to stay in the back for now. Trinity stops by and says neither of them belong in the ring. Shelly pouts at Trinity, but Kelly doesn’t care, and is all excited because she's finally going to complete her striptease next. [1 min]
Kelly is in the ring for the dance. Francine interrupts to yell about Dreamer spanking her. Kelly goes nuts at being interrupted - Catfight. Credible out and threatens to hurt Kelly, Dreamer out to defend and runs them off. Tommy says since he always has to have his eye on both Credible and Francine, how about a mixed tag for next week. Kelly is giddy about being in a match. [4 mins]
Angle approaches Shannon Moore backstage. Tells him he spat on the title because it's a piece of garbage, representing a garbage company filled with garbage wrestlers. When he eventually wins it, he's going to throw it right where it belongs - in the garbage. Shannon shakes his head as Kurt walks off. [1 min]
MATCH: FBI Vs. Doring/Roadkill - FBI win. [5 mins]
Post-Match, Big Show comes out. "Sorry Guido - Boss' Orders". Show kills the FBI. Styles wonders what the deal is with Big Show and Heyman. Taz mentions the old Smackdown connection in 2002. [2 mins]
Heyman calls out Angle. Styles speculates on why Heyman has protected Angle tonight after everything he did. Taz isn't happy and smells a rat. Angle wants the mic, but isn't given it. Heyman cuts the mother of all promos on him. The reason those guys didn't jump you isn't because I asked them not to, it's because I told them something you don't know, and I didn't show earlier on. ECW has a spot on Summerslam. And on that night, RVD is putting his money where his mouth is, and he will defend the ECW Title against you. And all of the ECW locker room will be sat in the front row at ringside, watching RVD kick your ass. And if you even think about pulling something, they'll hop that rail and destroy you. Hell, they might do that anyway. Angle is livid, and grabs Heyman. Van Dam runs out to fight. Angle dodges the Van Daminator and rolls to the floor. The ECW roster files in from the crowd and down the aisle to close in on Angle, who appears to be surrounded. The show ends with Angle looking for a way out, but as Styles screams "We're out of time! We've gotta go!", we fade to black without seeing Kurt get beaten up, wondering what happened.[10 mins]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis: The worm turns on Angle without him being destroyed, and the match is made for Summerslam. Show/Heyman intrigue continues after Guido lips off, and Kelly’s interruptions boil over to progress her into a match. Sandman pours beer on Knox, only one left. Challenges Punk, but no answer yet.
Last Week on ECW - The match at Summerslam was made, and the roster closed in on Kurt, who is public enemy number one. When the show went off the air, Angle escaped. [1 min]
We cut to Heyman and RVD backstage. Heyman says we were this close, but at Summerslam, there's nowhere to run, and for everything Angle said about ECW, and for disgracing the legacy of the title, ECW will make him pay. RVD tells Paul to calm down - he doesn't want everybody to beat up Kurt for him at Summerslam, he wants him all for himself, to prove that the best in ECW is better than Kurt. That'd be the truest victory of all. Heyman agrees, but wonders if Angle will even make it to Summerslam. [2 mins]
Intro Video [30 sec]
MATCH: Sabu Vs. Little Guido – Sabu wins. Announcers use the match to discuss Big Show being stuck on the FBI last week after Guido’s comments to Heyman. [7 mins]
We get a reminder that Tonight – Dreamer/Kelly Vs. Credible/Francine [15 secs]
Backstage with a nervous Kelly. We pan out to see Dreamer, who assures her it’ll be fine, but says he has to talk to somebody. Dreamer leaves the room, and the camera follows as he walks over to talk to Heyman. Dreamer asks - what was that about last week with the FBI. Heyman says it has nothing to do with him, and why would it – he told everybody the real plan off-camera. Heyman says he knows he’s not the most truthful person, but Big Show is the one lying, and he knows nobody will call him on it. He’s destroying people because he wants to. Heyman walks away, and the camera now follows him. Heyman passes Al Snow, who is holding the Head, but instead of “Help Me” written on the forehead, it now reads “Helped”. Al rants to Heyman, calling himself the Helper – the person who will teach everybody how tough the business really is. He took it too easy on Tough Enough. ECW isn’t fun and games, it’s a shark tank, the land of Extreme, and he might have to do some bad things, but people will thank him in the end. He says every act is justifiable. Paul wishes him well, but is uneasy at the delusional Al as he leaves. The camera stays with Paul. Heyman then walks around a corner and bumps into Kurt Angle. Heyman freezes, as nobody is around, and asks Kurt when he got here. Angle tells him to calm down, but Heyman flips out and says screw you – at Summerslam, Van Dam is gonna kick your ass. Angle says he can beat anybody one on one. But since everybody in ECW hates Kurt and are happy to outnumber him, he’s called an old buddy from his WWE days to watch his back to make sure he isn’t ambushed, and he wants Heyman to tell everybody else. Test walks into the shot, looking jacked. Angle and Test then leave the scene. [4 mins]
MATCH: CM Punk Vs. Roadkill, with Stevie on commentary again – Punk wins clean, Stevie is comically bandaged up from all the canings, and on commentary mentions it’s been hard to stay off pain pills. [5 mins]
Post-Match, Punk runs down the Sandman, and talks about how society has made a martyr out of a loser. He is accepting Sandman’s challenge to a match next week, so he can finally show everybody how his way of life is better than his, and better than yours. [2 mins]
We cut to backstage, where we see Heyman and RVD talking in the distance, presumably relaying the info about Angle and Test being in the building. [15 secs]
Video on recent Dreamer/Credible history [1 min]
Credible/Francine promo on Dreamer and Kelly [1 min]
Rob Van Dam storms out, no music, belt in hand, says he’s just heard Angle is here and calls him out. Says after everything Kurt has done and said about ECW, he needs to have the guts to back it up. Angle appears and cheapshots RVD. Van Dam fights back. Goes to the top to hit a kick, but Test runs in and throws himself in the way to take the blow for Kurt. Locker room empties (Sabu/Balls/Doring/Roadkill/CW/Dreamer/etc) and chases Angle into the crowd. Test is prone in the ring, surrounded, and is utterly destroyed, ending with Sabu/RVD doing their top rope double legdrop through a table with Angle watching from the audience. So much for Test, says Taz.[8 minutes]
MATCH: Tommy Dreamer and Kelly Kelly Vs. Justin Credible and Francine - Dreamer pins Credible to win. [9 minutes]
Post-Match, Big Show's music plays and he walks to the ring menacingly. Dreamers eyes light up, knowing that a shit-kicking is probably coming. Dreamer grabs the mic and yells at him that if he's come for a fight he'll get one, and tells Kelly to get out of the ring. Dreamer says that he may take an ass kicking, but if he's here on the "Boss' orders" again, then every punch he hits, he wants him to tell Paul Heyman that the next punch is coming for him. Dreamer throws the mic at Show and brings his fists up. Show picks up the mic and says, "Tommy...Paul Heyman is not my boss." As Dreamer looks confused at Show, Kelly Kelly steps up and low blows Dreamer from behind. Show lunges forward and delivers a chokeslam. Kelly steps over Dreamer and takes the mic. "Finally...I'm in the main event, and I won't be interrupted now. Hit the music!" Kelly then does the striptease she's been wanting to do since the first show, taking her bra off with her back to the camera as the show goes off the air, Big Show watching with arms folded. [4 mins]
Booking Objectives/Synopsis: The big reveal of Kelly as Show’s boss, Test introduced and used in a way that satisfies hardcore ECW crowd, and the psychology of Angle as the outsider works by bringing in another obvious one. Credible/Dreamer blown off. Spotlight on Punk this week.
Intro Video [30 secs]
Styles says that tonight we’ll CM Punk Vs. Sandman, a sit-down interview with Kelly Kelly and Big Show to explain last week, and RVD and Kurt Angle have vowed to come face-to-face, one-on-one, ahead of their match this Sunday at Summerslam. Styles and Taz remind us about Test being destroyed last week. [1 min]
MATCH: Balls Mahoney, Roadkill and Danny Doring Vs. Al Snow and the FBI – Shelly returns, Al continues quirky gimmick, comes out in “Get Help, Get Head” T-Shirt. Balls gets win over an FBI member when Al ditches them, saying they are beyond help. [7 mins]
We get a video recap of the CM Punk/Sandman feud, ending with the reminder that the match is tonight. [2 mins]
Sitdown interview with Styles talking to Kelly and Big Show. Explains the angle. She wanted to be a star on ECW. She tried to strip on the first 2 shows and got interrupted. So she got a manager's license and hired the Big Show. Week 3, Show pinned the Zombie fast so Kelly could dance next, but she got interrupted. Week 4, Show pinned Al Snow fast, and Kelly was up next, but got interrupted. Week 5, she was trying to talk to Heyman about her own segment, and Dreamer interrupted her and she didn't get to dance at all, so she stuck Show on him. Week 7 she had car trouble, so she asked Big Show to wait for her in case she made it in time. Week 8, Trinity said she didn't belong in the ring, so she sent Big Show to kill the FBI. And Week 9, she got the chance to finally be the star. So Dreamer got laid out, and she did her thing. Everybody thinks she's a dumb blonde, but everybody else is dumber than her. Plays spoiled ditz the whole time, with video of the events she’s talking about playing over top.
Styles asks Show why associate with Kelly. Show says that the elephant in the room is that nobody wanted him in ECW. The original ECW fans didn't want him there, the wrestlers don't want him there, and he's a natural outcast anyway. But he wanted to be in ECW because he has faith in Paul Heyman. But when Show didn't get booked on the first two television shows, he thought about getting a manager to help, so he did. It's a partnership of mutual benefit. He’ll do what his boss says, simple as that. [5 mins]
Backstage with Punk, Knox and Stevie. Punk says it's the big showdown at last, and that it’ll be exit light, enter night for The Sandman. [1 min]
Kurt Angle Video Package – shows his entire quest to destroy ECW, footage from him being there in 1996, One Night Stand 2005, and all his acts since. Showcase the Gold Medal win, with Angle voiceover talking about knowing ECW is trash, and he will win the title and realise his goal of castrating ECW’s legacy by throwing it in the garbage at Summerslam [2 mins]
Backstage, Heyman is surrounded by riot squad security talking to RVD. Heyman explains that he’s hired security to make sure things don’t get out of hand tonight – this is one of the biggest matches in ECW history, and wants to make sure it gets in the ring at Summerslam. He asks RVD how he feels, RVD is positive. Heyman reminds him how important winning is, says he always believed in RVD, and he needs him to pull through more than ever. RVD says he’s the Whole F’n Show. [2 mins]
Sandman promo, drinking a beer, says Punk has pissed him off, and it’s time to pay the tab. [1 min]
Punk Vs. Sandman intros [2 mins]
MATCH: CM Punk Vs. Sandman – CM Punk wins. Crazy brawl – run-ins from Stevie and Knox, all get bumped or caned, but Punk catches him for the win. [10 mins]
Post-Match, Punk isn’t satisfied just to win, and tells his crew to pick Sandman up and grabs another beer bottle, a callback to previous weeks. Sandman ducks and Punk bottles Knox. Sandman fights off Stevie, and canes Punk. With Punk down, Sandman pulls out the beer and finally pours it over Punk’s body. [4 mins]
Recap the outcome and post-match of Punk/Sandman [1 min]
RVD video package – showcase what an abnormal athlete he is, with RVD voiceover talking about how Angle is a special breed of athlete, but nobody does the things he can. [2 mins]
Heyman is in the ring, the ECW roster in the front row as they will be at Summerslam. RVD out. Angle called out, but stops in the aisle and says there’s no way he’s walking into such an obvious trap after everything he’s said and done and what happened to Test. He says to Heyman that if he wants him in there, one on one with RVD, then let those security guys Paul was with earlier walk him to the ring. Heyman says yes, they escort Angle down and surround the ring as Kurt enters. Heyman exits. RVD tells him he’s going to kick his ass and beat him at Summerslam to show that everything he’s said and done is bullshit, and that as good as Angle thinks he is, he’s going to find out he’s not better than ECW’s best, and it’ll eat him alive. Pro-ECW speech about passion and heart, and that’s more than Kurt can handle. Angle says he meant everything he said – ECW sucks, the roster sucks, Van Dam sucks, and he’d going to humiliate him and the company in one night and kill it for good. He says that as good as RVD is, he’s no Kurt Angle. Kurt praises RVD’s loyalty, but says loyalty can be bought, like this security staff. And as many skills as RVD has, he doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head. RVD turns around, and one of the riot squad is in the ring and hits a big boot, revealing Test. Angle and Test beat the hell out of Van Dam, as the ECW wrestlers hop the barricade, fighting with the riot squad to get past. Heyman is leading the charge, Taz joins in to try and get through, the show goes off the air with the manic scene of Angle and Test beating the hell out of Van Dam with the insane brawl around ringside, and Styles screaming about that it'll be one-on-one, and no security to stop the roster at Summerslam. [8 mins]
Synopsis/Objectives: The Punk/Sandman feud is blown off in essence, with Punk winning and Sandman getting his last laugh in defeat. Can be revisited down the line, but the war is over. Kelly’s explanation frames her and Show for the future. Final angle heavy to ramp up the heat on Angle’s anti-ECW stance right before Summerslam, with strong video package build for this Sunday.
***Where do we go from here?***
At this point, it's nigh on impossible to properly book going forward without knowing what is working, who is getting over and who isn't. The logical end to the story at Summerslam is for Test to try to get involved, the ECW guys get him, Sabu puts him through a table and RVD pins Angle clean in the middle.
From there, Angle can detour into a feud with Sabu. If Punk is over enough, we can move to him and Van Dam for the World Title feud. Dreamer/Big Show is obvious. Sandman and Credible can also pair off.
Snow explains that he started his “Get Help, Get Head” campaign with Balls because he reminds him of Al in 1998 in ECW – fans chanting a double entrendre at a wrestler accompanied by a plastic object. He knows that Balls’ story doesn’t end well. If it sticks, Al goes over in the end and moves on to somebody else.
The only character I haven't introduced is Kevin Thorn, and think it's a bad idea to do the Vampire gimmick so early on. If they're going to dedicate time to somebody unknown, then it might as well be an ECW original like Credible that at least one segment of the audience will accept. Much like the Zombie, there is a place for that type of gimmick, but people have a more critical eye and certain expectations early, so don't do it then, do it after Summerslam. Additionally, with focus on Credible and Snow, Thorn’s spot isn’t readily available anyway.
But that's another story to tell on another day.
I'll let you be the judge. Honestly, there's no way this is worse than what they did. The real relaunch was scattershot thinking, panic booking, illogical cross-promotion, poor roster choices and some bad luck thrown in for good measure. Of course, in real life, it isn't always as easy.
But what do you think?