Lashley TKOs the RKO
ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley has been in Mr. McMahon’s crosshairs since he accepted Donald Trump’s offer to represent him against The Chairman’s Umaga at WrestleMania 23’s Battle of the Billionaires. Tonight on ECW on Sci Fi, Lashley overcame yet another challenge by the egomaniacal billionaire, but this time with the inadvertent help of the bickering Rated-RKO.
On the heels of Lashley’s vow to break Mr. McMahon in half – and his Rated-RKO tag team partner’s qualification for the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania – Edge approached McMahon on Raw and volunteered Randy Orton’s services in teaching the ECW World Champion a lesson. But Edge, who is also competing in the Money in the Bank Match, appeared to have ulterior motives. He persuaded McMahon to include a stipulation that Orton would lose his WrestleMania spot if he failed to show up for the match.
Orton was outraged, but showed up for the encounter with Lashley. He demanded that Edge give him backup in his match. Edge insisted he had Orton's back, but hardly did anything to help his former World Tag Team Champion partner.
The Rated-R Superstar was ejected for blatant interference in front of the referee halfway into the match. He flashed a curious, devious grin as he left ringside, sparking speculation that perhaps he may have gotten himself ejected on purpose.
The momentum between ECW World Champion and Orton briefly swung back and forth. The cocky Orton, angered by Edge's ejection, channeled his frustration to take the advantage over Lashley, but the valiant champion battled back and finished Orton off with his trademark Dominator running powerslam.
Lashley's victory brought out a seething Mr. McMahon and the two engaged in an intense staredown at the close of ECW on Sci Fi. What else will the evil billionaire have up his sleeve as he continues to make Lashley's life a living hell before WrestleMania? (WATCH)
While Edge and Orton will battle six other Superstars at WrestleMania for a World Championship opportunity, the ECW Originals will be fighting for their survival against the New Breed. In a precursor to their Eight-Man Tag Team Match at sports-entertainment’s greatest spectacle, the two factions faced off in a Battle Royal on ECW on Sci Fi. Tommy Dreamer emerged victorious, overcoming a two-on-one advantage at the end in favor of two of the New Breed's most cunning members, Elijah Burke and Matt Striker. But the real boost for the ECW Originals came after the match.
Hardcore Legend-turned-bestselling author Mick Foley came to ECW on Sci Fi and endorsed the Originals. Foley initially didn't receive a warm welcome from Dreamer, Sandman, Sabu and Rob Van Dam, who believed he was there only to promote his new book, The Hardcore Diaries.
But Foley – who battled with and alongside the four men as Cactus Jack in the original ECW and is credited with bringing hardcore to WWE – said he didn't come to ECW on Sci Fi to just plug his new book. He came to see what was going on between the Originals and the New Breed firsthand. Their matchup at WrestleMania, he said, is more than a turf war. It is a battle for the legacy and future of ECW.
“You guys have the chance to perform in front of 70,000 people," Foley said. "But you will have 70,001 people watching you that night. I will squeeze my fat ass in one of the seats in the upper deck at Ford Field and will raising my hand as I chant these letters with the rest of the people: E-C-W, E-C-W, E-C-W!" (WATCH)
The New Breed continues to look for reinforcements as WrestleMania approaches, and their most coveted prospect is undoubtedly CM Punk. Elijah Burke approached Punk with a proposal to join the New Breed for a second consecutive week. Though Punk seemed initially hostile to the offer, Burke is finding more ways to entice the straightedge Superstar. (WATCH)
Meanwhile, Snitsky has shown that he walks alone as he has wreaked havoc in the Land of the Extreme. He has attacked any and all ECW Superstars in random attacks for several weeks; no one has been safe. This week, Snitsky demolished two poor souls in his first sanctioned match on ECW on Sci Fi, continuing his path of rage.
Can’t get enough of the action of ECW on Sci Fi? Relive each match in its entirety on ECW.com’s Hardcore Hangover.