Garden Showstopper

It was a memorable night on Tuesday as ECW made its long awaited debut at Madison Square Garden. Paul Heyman thanked himself for making the night possible before making an Extreme Rules World Championship Match between Big Show and Sabu. Also, the ECW originals made a statement during Rob Van Dam's match with Hardcore Holly, and C.M. Punk created a buzz during his first MSG match.

Paul Heyman opened the hardcore debut by addressing the ECW fans. "You are part of history," said the extreme representative. "This is the ultimate temple, the great church and the grand cathedral…there's one person I'd like to thank for getting us here…me!"

Heyman continued with his eccentric rant. The former Extreme Championship Wrestling owner went on to blame the fans for putting ECW out of business five years ago, and even gave himself credit for working with Vince McMahon to bring ECW to a global platform. But, his rant didn't last long because hardcore legend Sabu came out to interrupt the self-proclaimed "Messiah."

Heyman warned Sabu that if he took another step closer, he'd "pin him like he did last week." The suicidal, homicidal, death-defying maniac immediately ignored the warnings, instead opting to take out Heyman's personal security force. His actions prompted the ECW spokesman to make a match for the main event: Big Show vs. Sabu, Extreme Rules for the ECW World Championship. For the first time ever, the ECW World Championship was to be defended in the hallowed halls of the Garden.

When the main event arrived, Sabu made the most of his huge opportunity in his MSG debut. Unfortunately, on this night it wasn't meant to be as Big Show sent an extreme message to the ECW fans and D-Generation X.

With the ECW World Championship on the line, both men took advantage of the Extreme Rules stipulation. Sabu made use of his favorite friends, the steel chair and the table in an attempt to claim the gold in the World's Most Famous Arena. At one point, Sabu reversed a Big Show chokeslam attempt into a spinning spike tornado through a table, but was only able to record a near fall.

However, the suicidal extremist made the cardinal sin of "going to the well one too many times," as Big Show caught him in mid-air during an Arabian Facebuster attempt and chokeslammed him through a table. A cobra-clutch backbreaker and a Showstopper later, Big Show had successfully retained his ECW gold. Can DX stop the extreme giant when they are locked together inside Hell in a Cell? Find out this Sunday at Unforgiven.

Also this week, Rob Van Dam faced extremist newcomer Hardcore Holly in one-on-one action. The rivalry between the two has gotten more and more intense over the last few weeks, ever since Hardcore Holly's ECW debut when he took a steel chair to RVD's skull.

Van Dam immediately took the battle to the air, launching an aerial assault against the hardcore extremist. Not long after, the match was interrupted when Test, Mike Knox and Stevie Richards interfered to attack the former ECW Champion. The beating didn't last for long, because ECW originals Sandman and Tommy Dreamer stormed the ring and saved their fellow extreme veteran. It was a surreal scene at the Garden as the ECW originals held the fort down. At the end of the night, one thing was clear: the war between Van Dam and Holly was far from over.

One of the biggest stories of the evening was the Madison Square Garden debut of ECW newcomer C.M. Punk. Last week, Punk approached "The Reject" Shannon Moore backstage and called him a poser before slapping the bizarre anti-authority expressionist to drive his point home. This week, The Reject had his chance for revenge, but he met C.M. Punk on the wrong night as nothing was going to stop the straight-edge extremist from coming out victorious in his hugely anticipated debut. The Reject got revenge for last week's slap, returning the favor in the beginning of the match, but that was all the offense he would land as Punk used the Anaconda Vice to make Moore tap out.

Afterwards, exhibitionist Kelly Kelly congratulated Punk backstage. The youthful Vixen told Punk she would love to go out and celebrate, but she was only 19 so she can't get in to any clubs. Kelly's boyfriend Mike Knox, realizing that his girlfriend was again chatting with other Extremists, quickly grabbed her and escorted her away from the scene.

Balls Mahoney was back on ECW on Sci Fi this week, this time taking on Rene Dupree in the Frenchman's extreme in-ring debut. Last week, Kevin Thorn and Ariel cost Balls his match, and this week was no different. As always, Balls went for his signature chair, but because the match was not Extreme Rules, the referee confiscated it immediately. During the distraction, Thorn pushed Balls off the apron and into the ring steps. Dupree took advantage of the situation, rolling Mahoney into the ring and scoring the victory. For the second straight week, Thorn screwed Balls, and more importantly, Dupree was victorious in ECW in-ring debut.

And again, Matt Striker was back as New York City headed into "back-to-school" season. The extremist educator told the Madison Square Garden fans that they could either "drink beer with Sandman," or they could come to class with, "your teacher, Matt Striker."

What will happen next week when ECW on Sci Fi gets extreme from the Worcester Centrum? Tune in next week at 10/9 CT to find out.

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