ECW (3/31) Extreme Exam!

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

The ECW (3/31) Extreme Examination

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, looks at all the video packages (and minimal wrestling) on the March 31st edition of ECW.

Well, April Fools’ Day is set for Wednesday. WWE jumped the gun by one day as they rolled out an hour-long infomercial about this Sunday’s Wrestlemania card. This is probably going to be my shortest column yet. There just wasn’t much to look at. The Bellas fought, kind of. Plus, WWE pushed the Money in the Bank group, again. I will be so glad when this PPV is over and done. Well, let’s make the best of this train wreck.

Captain Charisma, Christian, came out for the opening tag team match. He’s my pick to take the Money in the Bank on Sunday. I’d love to see him cash it in to battle his own “brother”, Edge, on Sunday. Christian’s partner was the Irish Brawler, Finlay. They faced off against Mark Henry and Kane.

Mark Henry & Kane d Christian & Finlay

The Finish

Christian tagged in and punched at Kane. Kane caught Christian with an Uppercut and tagged out of the match. Christian tried to match power with Mark, which went nowhere. Christian went for a Crossbody, off the ropes, only to get caught. Mark lifted Christian for The World’s Strongest Slam, only to have Christian slip free. Christian clipped Mark’s knee. Finlay came in and the Double Dropkicked Mark. The faces went over to attack Kane. Mark caught both Finlay and Christian with Clotheslines. Finlay rolled to the apron. Mark knocked him to the floor. Mark went to get Christian, who rocked the big man with the Fulcrum County Blues. Christian made the foolish choice to go for a Flying Crossbody off the ropes. Christian was introduced to The World’s Strongest Slam. Give the win to Mark Henry and Kane.

Grade: C+
Jay’s Thoughts: WWE isn’t about to risk any injuries, this close to Wrestlemania. I still think Christian is going to win the Money in the Bank match on Sunday. Giving a win to Mark Henry was a nice change. Henry is, of course, a Texan. It makes sense to let him win in his home state. As far as the match itself, well, it was a bit boring and disjointed.

After the match, Mark Clotheslined Kane. Grisham then sent it to a video package for 12 Rounds. While I’ve heard this film was decent, it seriously bombed at the box office. Even Wrestlemania couldn’t help this Golden Turkey/Razzies nominee.

ECW then made the case for having it’s fans hook the DVR boxes into their stereos. Kid Rock is going to perform in Houston. That’s going to be one seriously hardcore performance.

Variety is running a major story about Wrestlemania. Grisham and Striker began to talk about Undertaker v Shawn Michaels. The ran a video piece about Shawn gaining his freedom from JBL and his move towards fighting Undertaker. The video then showed all the victories of The Undertaker at ‘Mania. I recently watched all of ‘Taker’s matches. I just don’t see Shawn winning this one, especially since he won, last year. The video package ended with Shawn quoting “The Good Book” and each man stating why they would win. That was perhaps the longest video piece in wrestling history. Heck, Ricky Ortiz (remember him?), Tommy Dreamer, D.J. Gabriel and Tyson Kidd could have all have matches during that time. Sigh.

ECW showed a landscape shot of Dallas. Reunion Tower was lit up and the big ball just glowed with Texas pride. Plus, the “Kermit” building glowed in neon green. Thank you ECW, now I am so seriously homesick. Grisham and Striker then talked about the Triple Threat match between John Cena, Big Show and Edge. Time to send it to another extended video piece. The winner of the match gets both the World title and Vickie. According to the official WWE site, Vickie is preggers. Now that may well be a twisted April Fools’ joke, but, if not, it puts a whole new spin into this demented love triangle (quadrangle?).

ECW looked back at Wrestlemania 23. It was held in Detroit, hometown of my father and grandmother. The show was incredible. The match of the night was the Battle of the Billionaires. Vince got shaved bald, that night. Trump hit the lamest Clothesline and beatdown in the history of wrestling.

Yawn. It was time for the next video piece. Randy Orton v HHH. Orton wants the WWE title, HHH wants to remove Orton’s head from his shoulders. Same old song and dance. Orton has been whining for weeks about HHH turning on him when he won the World title. Orton has been planning revenge for years. They showed the attacks on the various McMahon family members. This was a plot to get to HHH. Orton threw out his IED excuse and said that he knew what he was doing, all along. The video ended with the awesome arrival of the McMahon Clan on Raw…including Son-in-Law HHH. The McMahons tore into Legacy to bring Raw to a close, Monday night.

ECW finished up the night with a (Gasp) wrestling match. Nikki Bella, dressed in red, was accompanied to the ring by Miz and Morrison. Nikki flirted with Miz and Brie, Carlito and Primo showed up. She used her sister’s entrance music. Brie was dressed in gold. Thank the stars that they didn’t do the typical twin dressed alike thing. My tired brain has a hard enough time keeping it straight which Bella is which.

Nikki Bella d Brie Bella

The Finish:

Nikki whipped her sister to the corner and hit a Kneelift. Nikki Hip Tossed Brie to mid-ring and twisted her sister with a Sideways Abdominal Stretch. The crowd was getting seriously hostile towards this boring match. Nikki worked over Brie’s back. Brie slammed her sister into the corner. Brie hit a Clothesline, a pair of Dropkicks and a Bulldog on Nikki. If these two aren’t the first gone in the Divas Battle Royal on Sunday, I’ll eat my hat (NY Yankees baseball cap). Miz and Morrison got on the apron to distract the ref. The Colons ran them off. The outside commotion allowed Nikki to slip in and Roll up her sister to take the win.

Grade: C-
Jay’s Thoughts: I wish someone would explain something to me. If ECW is only going to run two matches, why wasn’t the Divas match between Natalya and Alicia Fox? They are, after all, ECW Divas (unlike the Bellas). The match seemed forced. The crowd was bored to tears and they let the WWE know it. Dallas crowds are notorious for being quite vocal. (I grew up in Dallas and Friday nights at the Sportatorium could get really rowdy). As sad as it sounds, ECW would have been better to just run a video package about the Hardys feud. At least those siblings have skills.

ECW finished the night with…surprise…a video package. It was a Wrestlemania highlight reel.

Final Grade: C-
Jay’s Thoughts: You know it’s bad when you can finish a column like this in 20 minutes, including spell checking. The ECW show was one of the worst ever. You know it’s bad when you are looking forward to getting through this torture, so you can enjoy the informercials that run at 2 AM. While I love Wrestlemania, it sure screws up the regular programming.

— Jay Shannon
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(4/2/09)