Extreme tribute

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June 12, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- Many critics will debate the legacy of Mr. McMahon for years to come. To some, he was a sports-entertainment visionary who rightfully did anything he had to do to win. To others, he was a ruthless tyrant who crushed opponents both weak and small. But everyone would have to agree that he was the consummate showman -- and that he would have wanted his vision to continue even after his presumed death.

And the show did go on Tuesday night, with a very solemn ECW on Sci Fi, the first program following the Chairman's demise when his limousine exploded on Raw. ECW on Sci Fi was dedicated to the memory of  Mr. McMahon, a former ECW World Champion.

Though many of our fans did not show much respect to the late Chairman, ECW Superstars, even those who hated him, honored him with stellar performances. Read the full story …

The tribute to Mr. McMahon took place in Philadelphia, the birthplace of ECW, and our fans got a dose of both the old and the new -- and a little bit of the in-between -- in the Land of the Extreme. Our fans got a first look at the two newest additions to ECW since Monday's WWE Draft -- Chris Benoit and Boogeyman.

Benoit, an Original from the first incarnation of ECW, was greeted with a rousing ovation as he teamed with CM Punk -- considered by some a future World Champion -- against the New Breed's Elijah Burke & Marcus Cor Von in his return to his roots. Burke & Cor Von desperately wanted to play spoiler and show the Rabid Wolverine that he would not bully them on their turf.

Unfortunately for the New Breed, Benoit had other plans. Benoit & Punk won by disqualification, but Benoit nearly crippled Burke with the Sharpshooter. He showed the New Breed - and all of ECW - why he is one of the greatest technicians in sports-entertainment history.

Meanwhile, Boogeyman repulsed both onlookers and his hapless foe Matt Striker in his ECW debut. The New Breed's Extreme Educator usually has an answer for everything and is never at a loss for words. There's no doubt that he wanted to teach the man from the Bottomless Pit a lesson in his introduction to the Land of the Extreme. But Boogeyman befuddled Striker as he slurped down night crawlers and gyrated around the ring. Like so many foes before him, Striker could not find an answer to Boogeyman, who flashed a foam-filled toothless grin after his victory.

And in a dose of an oldie -- but a goodie -- our fans gasped and roared as Dreamer and Mahoney waged war in an Extreme Rules Match reminiscent of the original-Philadelphia-based ECW. Both showed the guts and innovative use of every weapon imaginable in their battle -- which is just one reason why they have been so beloved in their careers. Ultimately, Dreamer, a longtime critic of Mr. McMahon and considered the heart and soul of the original ECW, prevailed. He gave his all as he always does, even if it was during a show in tribute to a man he despised.

Can't get enough of ECW? Relive each match in its entirety on Hardcore Hangover at ECW.com.

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