ECW General Manager Paul Heyman Awarded WWE Champion Rob Van Dam the ECW World Heavyweight Championship; John Cena Attacked Edge
Other than in 2002, Rob Van Dam had never been hotter than when he won the WWE Championship at One Night Stand 2006. Of course, he blew it for himself no more than a month later, but his little run on top was fun while it lasted. He came across like a major star in this segment when presented with the new ECW World Heavyweight Championship, and was subsequently overshadowed by the two WWE guys Cena and Edge fighting at ringside. That basically sent the message that the ECW title was an afterthought and the real desired prize was the WWE title.
The Sandman def. The Zombie
If you want to pinpoint the exact moment where WWE's ECW died a miserable death, it was this match right here. Yes, the very first match in the reborn ECW was the beginning and the end for the brand. Sci-Fi wanted to incorporate their own sci-fi elements into the product, so they put a damn zombie out there. Even the commentators realized it was a joke. Sandman not coming out to his original entrance music made this even worse.
Kurt Angle def. Justin Credible
Angle was actually a great get for ECW to give it some credibility from the start, and it was cool, too, because he was technically a part of ECW before coming to WWE. Unfortunately, he quit the company two months later, so his addition to the roster was ultimately meaningless. Needless to say, he made short work of Credible here, but it was fun seeing him beat the crap out of him. Afterward, he hyped his Vengeance match with Randy Orton. I remember the pair of matches Angle and Orton had being pretty good, so that was a nice feud for the both of them at the time.
Kelly Kelly Stripped
This was the debut of Kelly Kelly in WWE, who by this point was only 19-years-old. And she was stripping for the whole world to see. I know why younger fans would have loved this when it originally aired, but in reality, it was quite stupid and obviously we would never see something like this today. I couldn't help but laugh when she had trouble taking her bra off so she just pulled it over her breasts instead. Classic Kelly Kelly.
Sabu Won the Extreme Battle Royal to Face John Cena at Vengeance
Holy shit, this was beyond atrocious. The hardcore elements made it more enjoyable at points, but it might have actually made it more of a train wreck as well. Most of the combatants had no business being in a Battle Royal and the booking was horribly laid out with Big Show dominating everyone in the match except for Sabu. Everyone in there looked like losers as a result, which they were anyway, but pointing that out wasn't smart, especially on the program's premiere.
Needless to say, as deplorable as this relaunch for ECW was, it was almost fitting in a way, because it was a sign of what was to come in the years that followed for the brand. It was never what Extreme Championship Wrestling once was, and that was evident from the get-go. The opening segment was serviceable, but everything else was either pointless or terrible television. I would suggest not wasting your time with this, but you have to see it to believe it.
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