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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (4/7/09) Extreme Examination!
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, brings all the action and drama from the post-Wrestlemania edition of ECW.

Wrestlemania was a real barn burner of a show, despite the lack of an ECW title match. The WWE is now gearing up for it’s next PPV, Backlash. Tonight, ECW brought in a new interim GM and had a couple of top notch matches. Let’s take a look.

Matt Striker was joined by a new partner, Josh Matthews. Todd Grishman must be heading to Smackdown, temporarily, at least. Teddy Long was in the ring to talk about new changes in the WWE. Teddy Long said Vickie Guerrero is the new GM of Raw. Long is now the new GM of Smackdown! He introduced his replacement, Tiffany.

Tiffany walked down the aisle in a sharp business suit. She is the interim GM of ECW. I’m hoping Tommy Dreamer gets the job, full time. As Tiffany started to talk, Jack Swagger walked out in a pin-striped suit. Jack’s hair looked like he just stepped out of a wind tunnel. Jack told Tiffany that there were a special set of rules for dealing with him. Tiffany said the only rule she would enforce is giving the WWE fans what they want. Tiffany told Jack that he might not be in ECW after Monday. Finlay, Tommy Dreamer, Christian and Mark Henry would compete in an Elimination Chase to Backlash. The winner will face Jack at Backlash. Tiffany made a Fatal Four Way as the main event.

ECW re-ran the promo for John Cena‘s press tour about 12 Rounds. He’s been all over the place pushing the film, which, sadly, has done poorly at the box office. I’ve talked to a few friends that have seen it and they say it’s actually a good film. I don’t do theaters (lousy vision) so I’ll be happy when it hits video. It will sit on the wrestlers/actors section of my video wall (Roddy Piper/Cena/Steve Austin/The Rock).

Miz, John Morrison and Tyson Kidd waited int eh ring for the opening bout. Tyson had the adorable Natalya at his side. The crowd popped big when Evan Bourne’s traffic controller entrance music played. He was joined by Primo and Carlito.

Carlito, Primo and Evan Bourne d Tyson Kidd, Miz and John Morrison

The Finish:

Tyson and Primo tagged in. Primo hopped over the ropes after a Shoulder Block. Primo hit several hard fists to the face of Tyson. Tyson reversed an Irish Whip, only to have Primo nail him with a Flying Back Elbow. Primo did a Cartwheel into a Dropkick on the Stampede Kid (Tyson). Primo caught Tyson with a Flying Knee in the corner and then a Running Clothesline. Miz made the save. The match broke down as people were thrown all over the place. Tyson missed the Savage Elbow but Primo didn’t miss with the Back Stabber. Primo made the hot tag to Evan who nailed the Shooting Star Press for the win.

Grade: A+
Jay’s Thoughts: What a fantastic opening match. These six men are the future of the business, no doubt. The ending was fast and exciting. I ended up yelling at my new roommate to come and watch the end of the match. She’s not a big wrestling fan but she was totally impressed with the finish of the match. I hope these guys don’t get lost in the Draft Shuffle. Bourne and Kidd should be challenging for the ECW strap, but their times will come. I like the whole Unified tag title thing. Maybe this is the first step to getting rid of the whole Brand Extension thing, which I always thought was a bad idea.

ECW then went back to Monday night. Randy battling Vince McMahon, after Randy made the mistake of mentioning the McMahon grandchildren. Vince told Randy to bring it. Vince set a six man battle for Backlash: Team McMahon (Vince, Shane and HHH) against Legacy (Orton, Rhodes and DiBiase). Orton challenged Vince to a match on Raw. Vince actually was kicking the daylights out of Orton for a great deal of the match. Orton went for the Punt but Shane stopped it. DiBiase and Rhodes jumped Shane. HHH ran out to help the family. As the triple team of HHH reached a fever pitch, Batista returned! Vince substituted Batista for himself in the six-man match.

ECW looked back at the Hall of Fame ceremony. Everyone looked great, though I was wondering if Kevin Von Erich has had some kind of stroke. His movements and facial expression seemed to suggest that he had. If I’m wrong, my most humble of apologies. I’ve been a Von Erich fan since I began watching wrestling way back in 1972 (started with Papa Fritz and moved on to the boys). Austin’s comments were very touching. He officially announced his retirement from wrestling to a chorus of “One More Match”.

Josh and Matt talked about the Shawn/Taker match. If that bad boy doesn’t end up the Match of the Year, I’ll be incredibly disappointed. It was a big time nail biter. ECW ran a video package for all the highs and lows of the show. Undertaker took possibly the most wicked bumps that I’ve ever seen in 37 years of watching this great sport. How he kept going is beyond me.

It was time for the Main Event. Mark Henry, along with Tony Atlas, came out first. Mark really did well in the Money in the Bank on Sunday. Next out for the Fatal Four Way was Finlay, along with Hornswoggle. Tommy Dreamer was the next man to arrive. He’s less than two months from his decree of “Win the title or retire”. Christian rounded out the field of four.

Mark Henry v Finlay v Tommy Dreamer v Christian
Fatal Four Way

The Finish:

Tommy whipped Mark Henry into Christian, who was in the corner. Christian dropped like a stone.Tommy hit a Low Dropkick on Mark’s knees. Tony got on the apron and Tommy nailed him. Hornswoggle released his dad. Mark was setting for the World’s Strongest Slam when Finlay cracked Mark in the head with the Shillelagh. Finlay pinned the knocked out Mark Henry. Mark Henry was eliminated. Your Winners: Finlay, Tommy Dreamer and Christian. Next week, Finlay, Tommy and Christian will square off in a Triple Threat Match.

Grade: A
Jay’s Thoughts: This was another PPV-level match, albeit a show opener match. Everyone got to look impressive in this one and the finish was kind of fun. The only downside, if there was one, is that Mark Henry drops further off the radar. He really needs to be moved to either Raw or Smackdown on Monday. He’s played out his usefulness on ECW. He should go to Raw and challenge Rey Mysterio for the I-C title.

Final Grade: A
Final Thoughts: Well, I wasn’t too thrilled to only get two actual wrestling matches. Those matches were so well booked and performed that my complaint about only 2 matches faded, somewhat. Putting Tiffany in charge is not the wisest of ideas. She is going to come across as far to weak to be effective as a boss. I’m seriously hoping that Tommy Dreamer will step up to take over the reigns of the “Red-Headed Step-child” brand. I’m also a bit concerned that ECW is about to be eliminated, in favor of the new Superstars show. Only time will tell if ECW will survive. I’m also not thrilled with the loss of Todd Grisham on the announce team. Josh Matthews is decent but the chemistry just isn’t there. It has that Joe Besser joins the Three Stooges feel to it. Hopefully the Draft will set a few new announce teams. I’d love to see Striker and Jim Ross placed on the same announce team. The only problem is that would damage ECW. Ross would never “lower” himself to do ECW, so Striker would have to move to Smackdown or Raw. We’ll all just have to wait and see what comes to pass,next week.


— Jay Shannon
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