New WWE Programming
The first match was Undertaker v. Matt Hardy, which Taker won after Hardy was counted out and disqualified for abandoning the match after about 20 minutes of wrestling. Don't worry, Jeff did come out and fight Matt back into the ring so Taker could execute a chokeslam and end things the way he likes to.
Next, we had Christian v. Finlay to determine the number 1 contender for the ECW belt. Needless to say, Christian won.
Finally, the main event was Shane McMahon getting to beat up Cody Rhodes. Shane was disqualified after introducing a folding chair into the match. And, because Shane is not interesting as a wrestler without this move, Shane brought in a trash can and went Coast to Coast, looking like he may have injured himself in the move more than usual.
All the matches were taped at their respective shows, not at one event.
How much longer before it turns into Heat or Velocity, with B-listers and up-and-comers? It depends on how popular the show is and how much faith the WWE has in it, I suppose. ECW is turning down the Heat/Velocity street, especially since they seem to have forgotten what ECW stands for. However, they seem to be trying with the addition of Christian and deciding that ECW stars can participate in Raw and Smackdown.
And since I mentioned it, I think people who are pissed that WWE has gone PG are being ridiculous. I got into wrestling watching it Saturday mornings with my dad. Why should we take that opportunity away from the kids growing up today? That could mean less fans in the future and even less talent in the future since many of the talent my age will say the same thing got them interested in wrestling. It's actually quite smart of Vince, or whoever's idea it was, for the future of the company.
That being said, ECW shouldn't have gone soft. Now, I really didn't like when ECW was still ECW and seeing 5-year-olds from the Smackdown audience getting beer sprayed all over them. I think ECW, even though it may not be cost effective, should have a different audience, different rating, so it can be all the crazy stuff it's supposed to be.
Anyway, the last time WWE had four shows was 2005.
Heat, featuring talent from the Raw brand, premiered in 1998 and jumped from USA to MTV to Spike before leaving television in 2005. It continued to air on WWE.com until 2008. Velocity, featuring talent from the Smackdown brand, premiered in 2002 on Spike, and also left television for WWE.com in 2005. It stopped airing online in 2006, with the decision to tape ECW before Smackdown.
(Note: AM Raw is not included because it is a clip show. I'm talking about first-air live action.)