ECW opened with a very serious looking Vince McMahon made his way to the ring. Joey Styles noted that McMahon is here with a major announcement. No kidding. McMahon said that he's come before the fans with bad news and announced John Cena's injury. He said Cena needed immediate surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. McMahon said that the fans might ask who was responsible and the pointed the fans to a video feature on the incident. It's pretty amazing how quick the WWE production team got that done. McMahon claimed Cena would be out somewhere between 6 months to a year. Some fans cheered that.
McMahon announced that "As of this moment, John Cena is no longer WWE champion." Lots of boos for that. McMahon said that the belt was vacant and would be rectified at the No Mercy PPV. He didn't announce what the match would be.
Joey Styles and Tazz talked about the announcement and said it was heartbreaking for Cena. That's the truth, for sure.
ECW champion CM Punk came to the ring. He said that he should be focused on No Mercy and who will win tonight's Tommy Dreamer vs. Elijah Burke match. He said that for the last week, he hasn't been able to get one thing out of his mind. They showed footage of the finish of Punk vs. Matt Striker from last week, followed by Big Daddy V laying Punk out. Striker and V appeared on the Titantron. Striker said that V wants the ECW title, so until he gets a shot he'll pay Punk no mind and wished Punk luck in his next match...right now.
Mike Knox came to the ring.
ECW champion CM Punk vs. Mike Knox
They locked up. Punk went right to work on Knox's shoulder. Knox reversed a hammerlock, but Punk turned it into an armdrag and armbar. Knox shoved Punk back into the corner but the referee forced a break. Knox worked over Punk's lower back. Punk came back with a series of chops. Knox whipped Punk into the corner and nailed a dropkick for a two count. Punk took down Knox and nailed several knee strikes before cinching in a front chancery. Knox sat out and applied a hammerlock. Knox controlled Punk on the mat, then slammed him. Punk tossed Knox out of the ring and hit a dive as they went to commercial.
When they returned, Knox was in control back in the ring. He dropped Punk's throat across the top rope, getting a two count. Even though the ECW champion was in the ring, the commentators pushed the WWE title vacancy being filled at the PPV. Knox snapped Punk's head over the ropes and scored a two count. Knox continued to control the champion. He cinched on a side chinlock. Punk rolled through for a near fall but Knox kicked out and clobbered Punk with a clothesline. Knox continued to work over Punk on the mat.
Punk finally fought to his feet with elbows and knees. He nailed a leg lariat. He hit the running knee strike in the corner but was shoved off from the bulldog. Knox missed a bicycle kick and was caught with the GTS for the pin.
Your winner, ECW champion CM Punk!
Match was solid but I was surprised to see Knox get so much offense.
They showed Balls Mahoney walking around backstage and said he would be in action next. Here comes Miz vs. Balls!
They then ran a great video feature on Tommy Dreamer using footage of the old and new ECW to get over his role as ECW Original and how much the ECW title meant to him. That promo did more for Dreamer's character then anything I can think of in the last year.
Balls Mahoney made his way to the ring. They showed a clip of Balls asking Kelly Kelly out and Miz attacking him with the ring mic. Balls took the mic and said that some have claimed he was acting like a lovesick puppy, Mahoney said that he hasn't forgotten the cheap shot Miz gave him last week, but said he'd like an answer from Kelly Kelly. Mahoney asked her to come out and give it to him. Kelly made her way to the ring with the stuffed bear he gave her a few weeks ago. Balls repeated his question from last week, asking her out. Kelly took the mic and milked the moment, then agreed. Mahoney grabbed her in a huge hug.
The Miz came out with the rest of Extreme Expose. He asked Kelly if she was really going to go out with "that fat slob." He joked that Balls might brush his one tooth for her. Miz said that it's been fun, but it's time for Kelly to go. She hesitated and Miz told her to go. Balls struck Miz. Kelly stopped him. Miz retreated to the floor and told her again to leave. Miz said that he took over Extreme Expose's management contract, so what he says goes. Miz says that if Kelly wants to go out with Balls, she'll be gone from Extreme Expose and ECW. Oh God, this has turned into Robert Roode and Eric Young from TNA! Miz demanded that Kelly make a decision and Kelly sadly left the ring, leaving Balls with her bear. She kept looking back all sad and sympathetic. Something about Kelly's facials when she's sad reminds me of an early Elizabeth.
They ran a video feature on Elijah Burke. Man, if they end this chase to No Mercy with John Morrison somehow stealing the title shot, how lame would that be?
They ran a video feature on Elijah Burke. If this Road to No Mercy ends with John Morrison stealing the ECW title shot, that would be so lame.
Joey Styles and Tazz reviewed the John Cena announcement. They reviewed the No Mercy card.
Tommy Dreamer vs. Elijah Burke for No Mercy ECW title shot.
They lock up and Dreamer rides Burke to the mat. Dreamer shoulderblocks Burke down and goes for a quick cover. Burke fails at a slam, but Dreamer doesn't. Dreamer clotheslines Burke. Burke whips Dreamer into the corner, then drills him with a back elbow. Dreamer recovers and ties Burke to the tree of woe. He hits the running dropkick in the corner, then nails the Cactus clothesline to the floor. Dreamer dove off the apron onto Burke, who was on the floor, and peppered him with punches. While Dreamer waited for Burke to return to the ring, they went to commercial.
Back on ECW, Burke got a two count on Dreamer and began pounding him in the back. They showed Dreamer getting tossed into the ringside steps during a commercial break. Burke cinched in a reverse chinlock, putting his feet on the ropes for leverage. Someone's been watching his Mike Rotunda Varsity Club era tapes. Burke and Dreamer throw down and Burke gets the better of it, which makes sense due to his boxing background. He hits the 4-Up on Dreamer.
Burke keeps trash talking Dreamer while Dreamer keeps pulling himself up and egging Burke on. Dreamer catches Burke with a neckbreaker. Dreamer came back with some offense and a flapjack. Burke slams Dreamer into the turnbuckles, then goes to the top rope. Dreamer cuts him off and sets up for a superplex. Burke shoves him off. He hits a top rope sunset flip but Dreamer reverses for a two count. Burke hits the Outer Limits elbow, but Dreamer catches him with a DDT and gets the pin clean.
Your winner, Tommy Dreamer, who advances to a ECW title shot on Sunday at No Mercy.
ECW General Manager Armando comes out and congratulates Dreamer saying he earned the victory, but the chase isn't over. Armando says that there's one man left to enter, and introduces Big Daddy V. V comes to the ring. V lays out Dreamer. You know where this is going. V picks up Dreamer and slams him. V drops down with a headbutt and steps on Dreamer's chest. V beats on Dreamer who refuses to back down. V misses a splash. Dreamer nailed a clothesline but V didn't sell it. Dreamer keeps fighting but is laid out. Dreamer pulled himself up in the corner, where he was hit with a running avalanche splash. V scooped up Dreamer and dropped back with a Samoan Splash. V hits a running splash and scores the pin.
Your winner, Big Daddy V!
So, it's Punk vs. V at the PPV with the storyline that V stole Dreamer's title shot.