Sabu def. Tony Mamaluke
Sabu was scheduled to face John Cena that Sunday at the Vengeance pay-per-view, so this was designed to be a quick showcased for him. Despite being a good hand in the ring, Mamaluke was a total nobody and thus he was a fine choice to be squashed by Sabu. This wasn't terribly exciting while it lasted, but at least it got the job done with Sabu going over in decisive fashion.
Big Show Attacked Tommy Dreamer
The bell never rang to make this an official match, but it might as well have. Holy shit, this was hard to watch. Big Show destroying an ECW original in Dreamer on the second ever episode of WWE ECW didn't exactly send the best message about the brand. I'd almost understand it if it was a younger/debuting star in that role, but instead, it was... Big Show. It put over Show as a dominant force, but I don't think it was necessary for it to come at the expense of Dreamer.
The Sandman def. Macho Libre
Nacho Libre had just come out in theaters at the time, so I guess some dude dressing up as Nacho Libre and spewing Randy Savage catchphrases was WWE's way of promoting the film. Similar to the week prior when he essentially murdered a "zombie," Sandman wasted no time in destroying Macho Libre, much to the delight of the live crowd. This nonsense didn't feel like it belonged in ECW at all.
ECW World Champion and WWE Champion Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle def. Edge and Randy Orton
I appreciated that this furthered the two feuds involved heading into Vengeance, but this felt like a very WWE-style main event. It was your typical tag team match and there wasn't anything extreme about it. Don't get me wrong, the wrestling was solid and the crowd enjoyed the action, but this was no different than what you'd see on Raw normally. Of course, ECW's lack of identity compared to Raw and SmackDown was ultimately one of the biggest reasons why it died in the end.
The debut edition of WWE ECW was a bit of a mess and I can't say this installment did a ton more to impress me. The best part about the entire episode was the main event, if only for the wrestling, but even that felt out of place on a show called Extreme Championship Wrestling. The stuff with Kelly Kelly and Sandman was trash and I hate the angle with Big Show and Dreamer. Sabu was able to build momentum ahead of his outing with John Cena, but that was about it. ECW was essentially the third hour of Raw years before Raw officially expanded to three hours. Two weeks in and it was already dying a death.
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