The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.
Ten years ago, on December 3, 2006, the second and final December to Dismember aired. It was an ECW PPV, utilising the new (and soon to be defunct) ECW brands, the first of its kind since One Night Stand back in June. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.
December to Dismember 2006
You better watch out…
Oh, here we go, back to taglines. Nice. This cover shows Sandman’s arm peeking out of a chimney, holding his Singapore sticks with blood on the snow to spell ECW. is like one of those Christmas-themed horror movies like Jack Frost or Silent Night, Deadly Night… in fact, the cover seems to parody that film! The cheek of these cover designers.
There is no ye olde wrasslin’ video. Instead, we are shown the elimination chamber along with the edict, “Six men will enter… knowing they will suffer the unimaginable…” and the Elimination Chamber is shown as some kind of super-hell-in-a-cell. And no other match is advertised. We just have the main event and I should mention that the wrestlers in the main event are Bobby Lashely (yay), ECW Champ The Big Show (eeey), CM Punk (now, yay, but back then, eh?) Sabu (well, someone’s going to die), RVD (Okay!) and Test (oh Christ)? I mean, come on.
Big Christmas coloured pyro in the ECW presented December to Dismember 2006. The place is the James Brown (get down!) Arena in Augusta, Georgia and with a tiny 4,800 fans in the place with only 90,000 PPV buys (the lowest buyrate in Fed history), this is due to be a great, great, great clusterfuck. Bear in mind that only two matches were advertised before the PPV – the Elimination Chamber main event and the Hardy Boys vs. MNM. So stoked, though, right?
Our commentary team is the annoying Joey Styles and Tazz with two Z’s. One of the best things about this PPV is that the theme tune is fucking Bodies by Drowning Pool. Tazz tells us that the Elimination Chamber is ten tons of steel. Good Lord. Who cares about them, though, when we have the motherfucking Spanish Announcers, Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. Cabrera, once again forgets the announcer’s names and Savinovich does an awesome tongue roll because the man is a hero.
(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match featuring Stevie Richards and René Duprée. It is unknown how long it lasted.)
MNM’s music hits and… wait, didn’t you guys split up? They are wearing fluffy jackets with LED signs on the side that scroll through some words that no one sees. Melina is really hamming it up this evening, kissing and dancing and looking just like the ecstasy dropped before she walked into the arena. Good woman yourself.
Hardy’s music hits and the pair get a bit of a pop for their entrance as… Team Extreme? What? Since when? And the title says “The Hardys”. Make up your mind, boys. Joey says that both teams plan on splitting up again after this evening. So it’s like a Bizarro team-up. Right. That makes sense.
The Hardys (Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy) def. MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro (w/ Melina)) via pin in 22:33.
Let’s get right into it. Tazz is being a pervert, as usual. He’s the Jerry Lawler of ECW. Lots of hugs between Joey and fat Matt in some sort of test of strength. Tazz considers that Mercury and Nitro may be related. What an odd thing to say. Weird announcers. A bit of scrapping and everyone runs into the ring to square off. The ref tells them off and the crowd chant for the Hardys. Matt and Joey tie up again and Mercury is thrown into the corner with Jeff tagging in. Lovely arm drag and knee drop before fat Matt comes in and Joey escapes to tag in Nitro. Big boos from the crowd and Jeff comes in, botching a jump over the rope like the dumb guy he is. Double clothesline from the Hardys and senton drop. Mercury comes in and they do an odd double team where they lift him from his back to… backdrop him. Nitro takes over and Mercury is tagged in as Melina screams because fuck Melina.
Jeff is trapped in the corner and Nitro hits a lovely elbow drop and standing shooting star press that misses as fat Matt comes in, hitting Nitro with a super sit-out-powerbomb. Mercury runs in and in the confusion, Melina pulls on Matt’s leg. Matt goes after her but gets a clothesline for his effort. MNM hit a doubleteam gutbuster on Matt. The ref is distracted and Melina hits the head-scissors on Matt to which Tazz says, “Hellooooo!” Melina screams again as MNM hit a double facebuster on Matt. We’re really gearing up for the hot tag here. MNM hit a double stalling suplex but Matt lands it and double-neckbreakers the bastards. As he goes for the hot tag, MNM fight back. MNM hit a Poetry in Motion as Melina screams once again. Mercury goes for the Twist of Fate but is countered. Hot tag and Jeff comes in.
Jeff predictably cleans house, hitting all the bases before Nitro pounces in to break the count but gets a lovely sit-out suplex. Suicide dives to the outside from Matt, Nitro and then Jeff. The crowd chant “ECW! ECW!” even though none of these men are ECW boys. Matt hits Poetry in Motion but MNM roll out of the way before Jeff can hit the Swanton. Melina screams. Nitro hits the springboard dropkick and fails to get the pin. Jeff is being beaten on in the corner and MNM hit the double catapult into the turnbuckle. It is followed by a long stretch from Nitro. Tazz says, “Simple but good.” Because he’s an idiot. Nitro hits some strange spinneroony leg drop and some punches are traded mid-ring. Matt comes in and as the ref is distracted, Melina and Nitro beat on Jeff. Mercury is tagged in and a pin gets nothing. A second and a third get nothing either. Mercury hits the backbreaker and Nitro does the springboard elbow. A lovely sunset flip by Jeff and Nitro Aloha-Arns for a bit before tagging in Mercury. The match has slowed down to a crawl.
Mercury has Jeff in a crossface and Jeff fights back. A rollup is so strong that when Jeff hits out, Mercury is thrown from the ring. He turns to Jeff and drags him off the apron and Nitro is back in the match with Jeff. Another double-team catapult but Jeff stops it, top-rope moonsaults and gets the hot tag to Matt. Matt cleans house as much as he can, hitting a bulldog and catching Nitro on the way down. Two Side-Effects followed by a pin attempt. Bret’s rope leg drop gets nothing so Jeff is tagged in and Nitro is picked up for a powerbomb. Mercury pushes his tag team partner up which forces the hurricanrana! Jeff is down and a pin attempt fails to keep him out. Nitro goes to the top rope but Jeff is up and all four men are in with MNM on the turnbuckles. The Hardy’s hit stereo superplexes. Tazz sings the theme song. Melina is distracting the ref and as Jeff goes to chastise her, Nitro hits the dropkick, missing Jeff and hitting Melina. MNM hit the Snapshot but Matt breaks it up. He is removed from the ring and MNM turn to Jeff, attempting a superSnapshot but Matt jumps in with the double neckbreaker and a Swanton on top of both members on MNM. Jeff hits the pin and the Hardys win in 22:33.
Bit of a spotfest, but a lovely spotfest nonetheless.
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss MNM.
The Hardys leave and we see replays of the best spots of the match. Melina looks legit hurt but the camera doesn’t hang around enough to show any blood.
Back to the announcers and both men drag themselves through the script, screwing it up wherever they can.
Cut to prerecorded footage of RVD understanding that the Elimination Chamber is a tough match. It isn’t as tough as any other match, they’re just being fools.
Matt Striker’s music hits and down he comes to the ring, shaking his head at the swearing of the crowd. Striker has the mic, which is where he should be. He makes fun of Balls Mahoney, the awful “wrestler” who is a parody of what ECW used to be. Matt tells us that he has a responsibility to all of us to restore order. He asks the official to enforce the following rules: no gouging of the eyes, no pulling of the hair, no manoeuvres off the top rope and, most importantly, no foul language. Fair play, Matt. This is a Striker’s rules match.
Balls comes down. He has class music. He’s a shit wrestler, but he’s a great showman. Matt has a picture of his own face on his arse. Pantastic.
Straight-up Shoot Fact: Balls, whose real name was Jon Rechner, sadly died on April 12, 2016 at the age of 44 of a heart attack, yet another performer in wrestling who left us too soon. Despite my personal feelings for Balls as a wrestler and performer, it is a tragedy for anyone to lose a life. He passed away enjoying himself – watching Jeopardy and answering questions on the couch – and is survived by his wife Gayle and his son Christopher.
Striker’s Rules match: Malls Mahoney def. Matt Striker via pin in 07:12.
Bell goes and Balls is discussing things with Balls. There is a test of strength where Balls wins. The announcers tell us that Balls has an accomplished amateur wrestling career. Balls botches a jump over Striker and attempts the armbar but Stiker breaks it on the bottom rope. Striker is having pants trouble at the moment. Another test of strength is called but Striker beats on him, bouncing his head off the turnbuckle, reversing an Irish Whip and hitting an armbar on Balls, which he botches. Striker is doing things differently and it works. Striker actually pulls on Ball’s hair, though.
Striker hits more arm-based moves and Tazz calls Striker effeminate. Nice, Tazz. Keep it classy. Bit of an armbar city over here with Striker having a good long hold of some Balls. The announcers keep telling us how smart Matt is and how he is working on Balls’ arm. A run to the corner is stopped with a boot to the face but Matt gets another armbar on. The crowd chant his name each time Mahoney has offence, but it is never for too long. Mahoney goes to the top rope, but that is clearly against the rules so the ropes are shaken and Balls falls. Great rolling armbar and Balls is held there until he can break hold by grabbing the ropes. Great back drop and a bunch of knockdown strikes followed by a back body drop and Mortal Kombat Strikes, each with a “Balls!” from the crowd. Balls hits the spinebuster and pins Matt in 7:12.
Not amazing, but a good comedy match with a weak ending.
I can never get enough of Matt Striker being hurt
Backstage, we see CM Punk punching the air. Sabu, however, has been hurt in an unseen attack. It appears that he will not be taking part tonight. In comes our favourite Jew, Paul E. Dangerously, who rambles for a while and looks on helplessly. The Elimination Chamber is down to five. The crowd chant, “Bullshit!” knowing that it is, indeed, bullshit.
Old Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay come out to the ring with their towels and angry faces. Both of them have “Terkay” on the back of their tracksuit tops. I love the gimmick of legit sportspersons and having cornermen. It makes it seem more like the wrestlers are taking themselves seriously.
Straight-up Shoot Fact: Elijah Burke used to be an officer in Jacksonville but would segue into wrestling through boxing. He had an impressive 98-1/103-1 win/loss record (depends on whether you ask Club 5, Club Plush or WWE themselves) and could not pull his punches in the ring so never threw worked punches. Sylvester Terkay is just as impressive, being a 5-time NCAA Boxing Champion, a 4-time NCAA National Heavyweight Champion and has the honour of being named number one Gaijin during his time in Japan.
Double Trouble Straight-up Shoot Fact: Balls Mahoney was the evil Xanta Klaus in In Your House 5: Seasons Beatings… and Sylvester Terkay was Santa Imposter during an episode of In the House. Facts!
Elijah has the mic and gets heat from the crowd for smiling and talking about himself. He says that, “like a wild animal in heat, we will leave our mark!” which is a nice way of saying that they’re going to pee everywhere.
Out come the FBI (Full Blooded Italians), Little Guido Maritato and Tony Mamaluke with Trinity, who is a woman.
Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay def. The FBI (Little Guido Maritato and Tony Mamaluke) (w/ Trinity) via pin in 6:41.
The bell goes and Elijah is in the ring with his hat still on. Little Guido gets a quick full-nelson slam followed by Elijah spinning on him and slapping his face. Guido is not happy. Elijah is still wearing his hat. Guido gives Elijah the drop-toe hold, steals his hat, hits the armbar and tags in Tony Mamaluke. Tony drags Elijah about, tags in Guido and they hit the double elbow-drop. Tony is back in but gets knocked back before Sylvester gets in, beating on Tony in the corner, who slaps him back. A powerful Irish Whip is reversed and as the FBI attempt to double team Sylvester, he takes over, catching Guido mid-air, doing the big boot on Sylvester and chucking Guido out. The crowd reply with, “You still suck!”
Elijah comes in and there’s some headlock city going on there in the middle of the ring. Guido fights back, is thrown into the corner with Terkay and the Man-Bear is tagged in to delivery an amazing kick to Guido. MMA training, brah. Terkay Irish whips Guido into the corner and then does the same to Elijah. More headlock city from Elijah and Guido. Guido escapes, tags in Tony, who starts gaining momentum, but is stopped when Terkay comes in. The FBI double team Terkay and double flapjack Elijah. A close pin attempt. Elijah throws Tony into Terkay’s fist and hits the Elijah Experience for the pin in 6:41.
Good half a match that finished too early.
Terkay is the weak link in this match but was used well. Not a bad match.
Terkay hits the Muscle Buster on Tony and get some good old fashioned heat back. I tell you, December to Dismember is known as one of the worst PPVs of all time, but at the moment, it’s… okay. I know that I’m just cursing myself now, but for real, it’s been enjoyable. Only three matches left though and they might well be the drizzling shits.
On the Card will return on December 10 2016 with the second and final part of ECW December to Dismember 2006.