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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (6/16) Extreme Examination
Our resident philosopher takes a look at the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW.

After one of the most chaotic nights in Raw‘s 17-year history. ECW followed up with a trio of battles that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Let’s take a look.

ECW was in Roanoke, VA. Tommy Dreamer was set to battle Jack Swagger in a non-title match. The opening contest brought out the Hart Dynasty. David Hart Smith was up for singles action. The boys lifted the Anvilette onto the apron and then joined her in the ring. ECW ran the ending moments of last week’s main event, where the Hart Dynasty faced Christian and Jack Swagger. The Harts delivered the Hart Attack to Christian, following a falling-out between Jack and Christian.

Back to the live action, the Harts waited for David’s opponent. Captain Charisma got a huge reception from his Peeps. Christian was riding the face wave going into this match.

David Hart Smith d Christian

The Finish:

David tried to hoist Christian for the Running Powerslam but Christian slipped free. Christian then used a Drop Toe Hold to send David onto the middle rope. Christian jumped on David’s back to drive the throat down into the rope. Christian then hopped over the ropes and to the floor to pop Smith in the face. Christian foolishly chased Kidd around half the ring, before slipping back in the ring. David caught Christian with a bone-jarring Clothesline. Christian barely kicked out . Christian countered another Running Powerslam into a shot at the KillSwitch. David easily shoved out of the move. Christian hit a Back Elbow and tried for a Tornado DDT. David threw Christian off like an old overcoat. David missed a charge and hit the ring post. Christian hit the Spiral Sunset Flip for a near fall. Christian primed the fuse for the KillSwitch but David powered into a Belly to Back Suplex attempt. Christian flipped over and jumped on David’s back to lock in a Sleeper. David shifted Christian into position for and hit the Running Powerslam. Christian managed to kick out. David went for a Suplex but Christian slipped over and hit an Inverted Hot Shot on David. Christian went to the top rope but Natalya had the ref distracted. That allowed Kidd to jump on the apron and knock Christian off the ropes. David hit the Accordion Back Suplex to finish off Christian.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: I really like the way the Hart Dynasty is starting to shape up. I’m expecting the Colons to drop the tag straps to Legacy at The Bash (I hate the name change). The Harts could then take the belts from Rhodes and DiBiase. The Harts are teetering on the edge of facedom. This version of the Dynasty/Foundation will most likely succeed. Smith seems to have gotten his head screwed on right, now. Kidd is one of the best technical wrestlers of the current crop of stars.

On the other hand, Christian has started on a really bad spiral. He needs a fresh start. It’s time for Christian to take one of two paths: heel or face on another show. Christian is starting to get lost in ECW. Swagger, Finlay and Kozlov have all passed Christian as a top contender for Dreamer’s title.

Natalya, looking a lot like my “adopted granddaughter, Brittany” (both have wild golden and pink hair), jumped for joy at the win. Kidd and Smith went to deliver the Hart Attack on Christian but Finlay rushed in to make the save. He brandished the shillelagh. The Harts hightailed it out of the area. Finlay then surprised everyone but cracking Christian in the face with the shillelagh. This was payback for a locker room brawl between Christian and Tommy Dreamer, where Finlay took a shot to the eye. Matt and Josh were speechless at the vicious attack.

When they recovered their composure, Matt and Josh talked about the Mark Henry/Evan Bourne feud. Evan beat Tony Atlas, last week, then got annihilated by Mark. Evan and Mark were set to square off, next.

Gregory Helms talked with Finlay about his actions. Finlay said it was “an eye for an eye” for the attack in Los Angeles. Finlay hinted that Tommy Dreamer was next to feel his wrath.

Mark Henry lumbered to the ring with his mentor, Tony Atlas. They are starting to show a serious dysfunctionality, as of late. Evan Bourne, with taped ribs, came out to battle Mark. Evan showed lots of pain as he made his way down the ramp.

Mark Henry d Evan Bourne

The Finish:

Evan fought back with wild kicks that stunned the behemoth. Mark came up to Brick Wall Evan, as the smaller man bounced off the ropes. Mark missed a Big Splash on the mat. Evan was barely able to move but he still kicked away at Mark. Evan hit a Dropkick to the face. Evan couldn’t hold Mark down for the pin. Mark No Sold a round of kicks so Evan went to the ropes. He tried to slap on a Crucifix Backslide but Mark flipped Evan into the Fireman’s Carry and on into the World’s Strongest Slam to end his losing streak against the Sui-Sydal Daredevil known as Evan Bourne.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: I can only hope that this brings this ridiculous feud to an end. This whole David v Goliath thing wears thin. Evan should be battling for the ECW title, not floundering in a mid-card feud, where no mid-card feuds should even exist. Mark is nering the end of his career, Evan is just getting stated. Evan needs to be feuding with Tyson Kidd, Christian and Tommy Dreamer, not Mark Henry.

After the match, Mark picked up Evan and carried him around like prey felled by a lion. Mark World’s Strongest Slammed Evan a second time and then left the ring.

ECW returned with the Raw Rebound. It showcased all the craziness of the Three-For-All. That show got more feedback from fans that any PPV this side of Wrestlemania. Randy Orton took back the WWE title, after taking out Big Show in a Fatal Four Way. Vince McMahon then announced the new owner of Raw…Donald J. Trump! The Trumpster takes control of the Crimson Flagship, next week. Trump said next week’s Raw would be Commercial Free. Vince set up a 10-man Battle Royal, which was won by Triple H. Trump then showed back up to tell HHH that he would battle Orton, next week, in a Last Man Standing Match.

Gregory Helms talked with Jack Swagger about his chance to earn a championship match. Jack said it was a joke that Tommy held the ECW belt. Jack swore he would beat Dreamer and then take the belt back.

Jack Swagger came out for the Main Event. He got his usual hostile reaction from the crowd. Jack did push-ups to show off. He had the Lance Von Erich grin cranked up to 11 as he looked around. The smile faded, slightly, as the ECW champion, Tommy Dreamer, arrived. Tommy showed respect to the title by actually wearing the belt.

Jack Swagger d Tommy Dreamer
Non-title match, but Swagger gets a future title shot if he wins.

The Finish:

Tommy tried to set Jack for the Sullivan Tree of Woe but Jack fought back. Tommy reversed an Irish Whip and tried to set for the D(reamer)DT but Jack converted it into a Northern Lights Bridging Suplex. Tommy kicked out at two plus. Jack sat Tommy on the top rope and climbed up. Tommy blasted the ribs and shove Jack off the ropes. Tommy flew off the ropes, into a boot by Jack. Jack tried for the Gut Wrench Powerbomb but Tommy countered it. Tommy did a Roll-Through Jackknife Pin but couldn’t get the win. Tommy Slop Dropped Jack but couldn’t get the pin. Tommy stomped on Jack’s nose and then went to the corner. Tommy missed the Frog Splash. Jack used an Oklahoma Roll to earn his future title shot.

Grade: A+

Jay’s Thoughts: Swagger shouldn’t be this high up the food chain but he is. He’s got some great skills and can work a crowd like a conductor working a well-trained orchestra. Tommy will likely survive Swagger, only to fall victim to Kozlov’s Iron Curtain. That could lead to a face turn for Swagger. Swagger could stand up for the good ol’ red, white and blue. Heck, he might even get the so well-needed wardrobe adjustment.

Finlay rushed into the ring and Blith-Whapped Tommy with the shillelagh. Christian limped out to attack Finlay. The two men battled until Jack jumped on Christian. Finlay was seriously offended by Swagger’s interference. The Irishman clocked Swagger with the shillelagh. There were bodies all over the place as ECW went to black.

Final Grade: A-

Final Thoughts: Another above average episode of ECW. It wasn’t bogged down with a Kozlov Squash or a ton of backstage nonsense. It also didn’t take 3/4 of the time to look at what Raw, Smackdown and Superstars offered, earlier. Some might think that ECW was a let-down after the amazing Raw. I see it more of an Epilogue to a fantastic play.


— Jay Shannon
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