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Making painful statements
LONDON - It was an evening of making statements on ECW on Sci Fi. ECW World Champion Bobby Lashley showed Umaga and the McMahons that he was ready to battle overwhelming odds in his title defense this Sunday at Backlash, and CM Punk showed the New Breed that he is his own man.
The ECW Champion’s three Backlash opponents sent him a clear message on Raw this week. Umaga and Shane McMahon decimated a local British grappler named Robbie Brookside in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match and allowed Mr. McMahon to make the pin. But tonight on ECW on Sci Fi, Lashley showed he was not intimidated when he battled Umaga less than a week before Backlash.
The Samoan Bulldozer didn’t need motivation in this match; Lashley cost him the Intercontinental Championship against the unknown Santino Marella last week on Raw. With the Chairman watching from a monitor in the dressing room, Umaga went after Lashley with a vengeance.
But when the ECW World Champion battled back and it appeared he would snatch a victory away from Umaga, his manager, Armando Estrada, interfered and struck Lashley in the back with his title. However, Lashley made Umaga’s handler pay dearly. After knocking Umaga out of the ring, the enraged champion grabbed Estrada and near cut him in half with a thunderous spear. Lashley stood over the fallen Estrada and glared at the Chairman, who had emerged from the back to restrain Umaga. Mr. McMahon’s eyes bulged in horror as Lashley gorilla-pressed Estrada and tossed him out of the ring. (WATCH)
Lashley stood tall in this latest battle with the McMahons and Umaga, but the odds will be stacked against him at Backlash. He will be battling a monstrous savage and two vengeful McMahons who are determined to bring honor back to their family name. And if either Umaga, Shane McMahon or Mr. McMahon pin Lashley or make him submit, ECW will have a new World Champion.
Meanwhile, as Lashley prepares for perhaps a climatic battle in his war with the Chairman, it seems like a new war has started between CM Punk and Elijah Burke and the New Breed. Burke began to mistrust the New Breed’s newest member – a man he personally recruited – when he saw the straightedge Superstar assuming a leadership role in the group. His distrust wasn’t eased when Punk accidentally cost him a victory in his match against the Originals’ Rob Van Dam last week.
Punk repeatedly apologized for costing Burke the match, but the relationship between the New Breed’s most dominant personalities only appeared to disintegrate this week. Before an Eight-Man Elimination Match with the ECW Originals, Burke told New Breed teammates Matt Striker, Kevin Thorn, and Marcus Cor Von that he believed he had made a mistake by recruiting Punk. He even told Punk to sit out of the Elimination Match.
But Punk did not take lightly to taking orders from Burke. The straightedge Superstar cost Burke and the New Breed their match against Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, and Sandman. After the match, Punk didn’t appear apologetic as he stood over a fallen a Burke and said, with a smirk on his face, “I’m really sorry.”
With that, Punk walked out the ring alone. It is apparent that he is no longer a member of the New Breed – but he is not aligned with the ECW Originals, either. The straightedge Superstar showed that he stands alone and follows no one. (WATCH)
Another ECW Superstar who appears to walk to the beat of his own drummer is the deranged Snitsky, who has terrorized ECW for months. Two weeks ago, he stalked Layla of Extreme Exposé, and who knows what might have happened if Balls Mahoney hadn’t intervened. Snitsky made him pay with a boot to the face, and this week, Balls sought revenge. But alas, ECW’s “Captain Caveman” came up short as Snitsky brutalized him before getting the pinfall.
Can’t get enough of ECW? Relive all the action on ECW.com’s Hardcore Hangover. And be sure to order Backlash on pay-per-view this Sunday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET