HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
ECW (4/28) Extreme Examination
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, takes a look at the changing landscape of the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW

This week’s show came from Madison Square Garden?

The show kicked off with a look back at Christian v Jack Swagger at Backlash. The two had a great see-saw battle that teased numerous pins. Swagger got frustrated during the match. Swagger struck an exposed turnbuckle and then Christian detonated the Killswitch.

Christian, the new ECW champ, was introduced. Christian stood tall and proud amidst his Peeps. Christian said that he wanted to be ECW champ, ever since he came back to the WWE. Christian expected Swagger to come out and whine about losing, but Christian wanted to say that this was the best day of his career. The Peeps exploded with love for their new champ. Christian asked Swagger to come out and interrupt him…

He got a suit-wearing Tommy Dreamer, instead. Tommy shook Christian’s hand and congratulated the new champ. Tommy showed huge respect to Christian. He said Christian represented what ECW is all about. Tommy said he had another reason for coming out here. Tommy said he was down to less than six weeks before his contract expires. Tommy said that if he can’t win the ECW strap by the end of his contract, he’d walk away. Tommy said he was in the building that made him love the business…to challenge Christian for the ECW title. Christian said he’d “do him one better”. Christian offered to face Tommy for the title, tonight, in MSG.

Jack Swagger finally showed his face in the arena. Swagger said it was time to end the farce. Swagger accused Christian of cheating his way to the title. Christian grinned as Swagger sounded like a elementary school kid who lost the spelling bee. Swagger called Tommy “a joke”. Swagger that he had a rematch scheduled at Judgment Day. Swagger said that no one would get a title shot until he does.

Enter Tiffany. Tiffany welcomed everyone to ECW. She then turned to Swagger. She acknowledged that Swagger will get his shot at Judgment Day. She corrected him that others could go for the title. As GM, she made the match between Christian and Tommy for the ECW. That would be the main event of the evening. Swagger was ticked off.

Tyson Kidd was getting that goofy hair thing on his head poofed up by Natalya. The Stampede Kid(d) was set to battle the Irish Legend, Finlay, next.

ECW ran an extended video piece about Backlash. I’m kicking myself that I passed on that one. All 3 major titles changed hands and the battle between the Hardyz was unreal. Plus, Ricky Steamboat really shined, even though he lost.

Tyson Kidd and Natalya walked to the ring. ECW looked back at the great silly match between the Finlays and Natalya/Tyson. Hornswoggle hit the Tadpole Splash, following a shot by the shillelagh.

The crowd popped huge for the Hornswoggle-less Finlay. The Fighting Irishman had the shillelagh. By the way, starting next week, ECW moves to 10 PM.

Tyson Kidd d Finlay

The Finish:

Finlay missed a Kneedrop but did get a Backslide and a pair of Clotheslines. Finlay hit a Backbreaker. Kidd fought back but fell victim to a Powerslam. Finlay launched himself at Kidd in the corner. Finlay lifted Kidd but the knee gave out. Kidd hit an Enziguri. Finlay rolled out of the ring. Kidd went for a Baseball Slide but got trapped in the ring apron. Kidd got free and rolled back in the ring. Natalya distracted Finlay and the ref. This allowed Kidd to grab the shillelagh and crack Finlay behind the knee. Kidd tossed it aside and took the win.

Grade: B+
Jay’s Thoughts: Finlay just seems lost without his “son”. This match was a decent fight but the ending stunk. There should have been a definitive pin, not a silly shot with the shillelagh that led to a cheat win. That lessens both men, in my opinion. Kidd should be building towards a showdown with the ECW champ, not floundering in this type of match. Finlay should have been drafted off ECW. He’s done all he can there, I think. Both men are great wrestlers. They deserved better writing.

Vladimir Kozlov walked out in what looked like a Russian military outfit. He looked a lot like the big guy from Rocky IV. Kozlov said in broken English that he will soon achieve “Global Domination”. The videos running on the Tron were all tanks and such.

Matt Striker introduced Gregory Helms, the new interviewer for ECW. Helms talked with Evan Bourne. Evan said that he had championship aspirations. Evan was interrupted by Paul Burchill. Paul said that he would destroy Evan on WWE Superstars (Thursday). Helms cut loose with his trademark…”What’s up with that?” Too funny.

Tommy Dreamer made his entrance to one of the loudest pops in recent WWE history. Tommy would get his shot at the title…next. ECW actually gave this match almost 1/3 of it’s airtime.

Tommy waited for his opponent as Striker and Grisham talked about the time change for ECW. They were stopped by the arrival of the new ECW Champ, Captain Charisma…Christian.

Tommy Dreamer d Christian (by DQ)
ECW Title Match

The Finish:

Both men just beat the count. Christian flew off the top rope, into a shot by Tommy. Tommy took advantage with an Inverted DDT. Christian went for a Spinning Sunset Flip off the ropes. Tommy countered the pin into one of his own. After several pin attempts, Tommy clocked Christian with a Clothesline. Tommy locked Christian in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Suddenly, Jack Swagger rushed in and attacked both men. Swagger threw Tommy into a trapped Christian. Swagger then nailed a brutal Gut Wrench Powerbomb on Christian. Swagger’s goofy grin was back as he stared at the carnage that he caused. Because Swagger attacked Tommy first, Tommy technically won the match by DQ.

Grade: A — Action, C — Finish
Jay’s Thoughts: Someone take the pencil away from Dusty Rhodes. That was such a 1980s Dusty Finish. I hate those kind of endings. Tommy and Christian were putting on a clinic in good one-on-one wrestling. The Dream decides to have Swagger rush in and totally wreck the match. I got this horrible feeling that Tommy’s about to call it a day in the WWE. I just don’t get the feeling that they are going to let the last remaning ECW Original have the platinum and leather belt. If ECW had a decent writer, Tommy would take the belt just before his deadline, only to get destroyed by Vladimir Kozlov.

Final Grade: B-
Final Thoughts: ECW gets a minor influx of new talent and just doesn’t have a clue what to do with them. The matches on this week’s show were above average, but not spectacular. Maybe ECW should have used one of the precious Draft picks to get themselves a writer that has a clue what the fans of today want. I realize the Dusty isn’t the only writer on ECW, but the show is starting to feel like a bad episode of the old WCW Saturday Night. I expect Lenny and Lodi to stroll out to try and challenge the Colons for the tag belts. ECW needs a major facelift and soon.

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]