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To hell and back
Heading into the ECW on Sci Fi main event, ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley appeared to have all the odds stacked high against him -- from Mr. McMahon to steel cages to Hardcore Holly, and even the Samoan Bulldozer. But as Lashley has proven on countless occasions, odds are not something he fears -- odds are something he beats.
Mr. McMahon was the hand behind those stacked odds this week on ECW on Sci Fi. Just 24 hours earlier, Donald Trump revealed that Lashley would be "The Donald's" representative in the Battle of the Billionaires against the WWE Chairman at WrestleMania. This would propel Mr. McMahon on a mission to make the ECW World Champion's life "a living hell."
The Chairman's quest seemed to materialize as he announced that if Lashley could not defeat his opponent, Hardcore Holly, in a Steel Cage Match in less than five minutes, Holly would be awarded the ECW World Title. Essentially, Holly could win the gold without even beating Lashley; all he had to do was last five minutes. The unrelenting champion, however, would not be intimidated, only motivated by this stipulation. As soon as the bell rang for the first Steel Cage Match in ECW on Sci Fi history, Lashley brought the attack to Holly.
As if the confines of the chain-link cage and the threat of the wily Alabaman weren't enough, the ECW World Champion was then confronted by his WrestleMania opponent, Umaga who came to ringside with Mr. McMahon himself. Just before the five minute mark, Lashley managed to powerslam his way through the challenger to secure yet another victory sending Umaga into a frenzy at ringside.
As the Samoan Bulldozer stood outside the steel encaged ring, Lashley charged at the cage wall, exploding through it and crushing the 300-pounder beneath the wreckage. Ultimately, ECW came to a close with the Chairman and ECW fans looking on in awe -- and, for McMahon, serious anxiety -- at the unfathomable power of the ECW World Champion. (WATCH)
Elsewhere in the Land of the Extreme, the qualifying matches for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match continued as Mr. Kennedy defeated Sabu in an Extreme Rules Match. While the ECW Original fell to the SmackDown Superstar on extreme territory, fellow Money in the Bank participant CM Punk gained some WrestleMania momentum with a win over Stevie Richards on ECW on Sci Fi.
"I've been known as the man who is single-handedly changing Friday nights," Kennedy told WWE.com. "Now, I'm changing Tuesday nights on ECW on Sci Fi. And at WrestleMania, the Money in the Bank Ladder Match opportunity is something I'm definitely going to capitalize on. I will be the next World Heavyweight Champion."
Also on ECW, the conflict between the ECW Originals and the New Breed continued to escalate in a pair of matches live on Sci Fi. As the team of Kevin Thorn and Marcus Cor Von waged war with Rob Van Dam and Tommy Dreamer, it seemed the corner support for both factions would have serious implications on the outcome. Thorn's sinful succubus Ariel attempted to pass her macabre man his walking stick only to receive a Singapore cane lashing from Sandman. However, in the midst of this melee, Elijah Burke was able to provide an assist and help the New Breed to get the best of the ECW Originals.
Earlier in the night, Balls Mahoney brought in a disqualification "victory" for the Originals camp over Matt Striker when Snitsky made another merciless cameo. After Snitsky devoured Mahoney, he suddenly turned his sights to the Extreme Educator who also suffered a most agonizing fate. (WATCH)
Want to relive the action of ECW on Sci Fi? Be sure to check back with ECW.com's Hardcore Hangover throughout the week for each match in its entirety.