ECW (7/21) Extreme Examination

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
ECW (7/21) Extreme Examination
Our resident philosopher looks at the good and bad of the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW

ECW presented a quartet of above average matches. It then topped off the night with another edition of the Abraham Washington talk show mess. Washington, trying his worst to be a stand-up comic, interviewed Tommy Dreamer and Christian.

Yoshi Tatsu opened the show. He came out to a great pop. His opponent was the 2008 King of the Ring, William Regal. Regal gets the award for coolest ring jacket. Regal told Yoshi that he truly despises all foreigners.

Yoshi Tatsu d William Regal

The Finish:

Yoshi powered out of the move but took a Knee to the ribs. Regal reapplied the Necktie.Yoshi sent Regal over but Regal came back with the Butterfly Suplex. Regal extended Yoshi’s arm and clutched Yoshi’s jaw. Yoshi tried to elbow his way out and then clocked Regal with an Enziguri. Regal returned with a series of European Uppercuts. That seemed to fire up Yoshi, who exploded with kicks and Knee Strikes. Yoshi hit a variation of C.M. Punk’s Elevator Knee in the corner. Yoshi rolled Regal out of the corner and went High Rent. Regal caught Yoshi and knocked him off the ropes. Regal dropped the kneepad and went for the Regal Knee but Yoshi dodged it. Yoshi used his Buzzsaw Kick to take out William Regal, in what many would consider a major upset.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: I just can’t quite get a handle on Yoshi. He’s a talented kid that the crowds have embraced in near-record time. He has the potential to go in two directions: Muta or Funaki. WWE is notorious for mis-using great talent. They turned the vicious Sheepherders tag team into the New Zealand entry into the Three Stooges imitation contest. They dropped the ball with Goldberg, the nWo, the Cruiserweight Division and so many others. Yoshi will likely spend some time on ECW and then get “promoted” to one of the two big shows. A note to Yoshi: If they try to suggest teaming with Funaki, run like Hell.

As for Regal, he’s slipped into Pusher Position (no jokes about his strikes in the Wellness Program). He’s slated to push the new kids. He will get an occasional win, but he’s not going to be a serious threat to the ECW strap.

Ezekiel Jackson came out for another squash match. His victim, I mean opponent, was Mike Williams.

Ezekiel Jackson d Mike Williams

Jackson, who looks like a cross between Ahmed Johnson and Mr. T., took down Williams with a Big Boot to the face. Jackson Clotheslined Williams into the middle of next week. Jackson hit the Uranage Chokeslam to end this match in under a minute.

Grade: C

After the match, Vladimir Kozlov stormed from the back. Jackson looked confused. The two had a major staredown in the center of the ring. Kozlov then picked up Williams and dropped the Iron Curtain. Kozlov simply left the ring while Jackson stared in utter confusion. Now that is a feud I’m itching to see happen.

Jay’s Thoughts: Jackson v Kozlov? That could give Jackson a major face turn and push. I could see a string of events that could lead Jackson to the ECW strap. 1. Tommy survives Christian on Sunday. 2. Kozlov destroys Tommy at Summerslam. 3. Kozlov takes out all the mid-card challengers (Goldust, Regal, Burchill, etc…) and then screams that there is no competition in ECW worthy of facing him. 4. Enter Jackson to battle Kozlov (around Survivor Series) in some kind of Russian/Siberian specialty match.

Striker sent it to Ask the Divas. The girls were asked what kind of guy that they liked and how to deal with a possessive girlfriend. Yawn.

Goldust came out to a slight pop from the crowd. I still would love to see him partner with his little brother, Cody. Cody could come out in blue and white, under the name Coldust. Just some odd thinking at 3 A.M. Goldust faced the Gold Standard, Shelton Benjamin.

Shelton Benjamin d Goldust

The Finish:

Goldust Powerslammed Shelton in the center of the ring. Shelton responded with several hard shots to the face. Shelton reversed an Irish Whip but dropped his head. Goldust Field Goaled the face of the Gold Standard, hit an Inverted Atomic Drop and a Bulldog. Goldust then hit a Hogan-like Leg Drop on Shelton. Shelton blocked a wild Haymaker from Goldust and converted it into a Backbreaker. Shelton went to the ropes and flew…right into an Uppercut from Goldust. Shelton grabbed Goldust’s head and then jumped over the ropes. Shelton slid back into the ring and finished off the stunned Goldust with Paydirt.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: Shelton is another case of dropping the ball. He was part of a fantastic tag team with Charlie Haas. The WWE, in their infinite lack of wisdom, split the team. Shelton got a half-decent singles career rolling and then he got shifted around all three brands. He hasn’t stayed still long enough to get a career really rolling. Now he’s forced into matches with Goldust, who was at his best a good 15 years back. Dustin Rhodes has tried a dozen different gimmicks, over the years, and has only really had success with the Bizarre One gimmick. I do not like his Tourette’s Syndrome sub-character. It’s offensive as Hell and really turns Goldust into even more of a cartoon character than ever.

Sheamus chatted in a mix of Gaelic and English. He trash talked Finlay and Hornswoggle. The Celtic Warrior was determined to take out the faces. Josh and Matt then ran down the updated Night of Champions card.

Gregory Helms interviewed Paul Burchill. Paul tried to taunt Helms about his Hurricane character. Goldust made some odd noises, based on his electrocution gimmick from years ago. In one of his twitches, Goldust smacked Paul in the face.

The Pulp Fiction-esque music brought Surfer Boy, Tyler Reks, to the ring. He’d make his official ECW wrestling debut, next.

Tyler Reks d Paul Burchill

The Finish:

Tyler fought to his feet and Elbowed his way free. Paul hit a Kneelift and sent Tyler to the corner. Tyler hit a Back Elbow and a Flying Crossbody. Paul responded with a Samoan Drop and vicious Crossfaces. Paul locked in a variation of the Kokina Clutch. Tyler spun under to relieve the pressure. Paul threw Tyler to the canvas. Paul Snap Mared Tyler and Kneedropped the kid from California. Paul went back to the Rear Chin Lock. Tyler powered out and the two men threw fists and fire at each other. Paul reversed an Irish Whip but Tyler got in a fist tot he lower stomach area. Tyler hit a Flapjack and then went to the apron. Tyler hit a Springboard Missile Dropkick for a two count. Paul hit a Saito Suplex on Tyler, only for a two. Paul psyched himself up and charged at Tyler. Tyler got a Spinner School Boy to take the win in a great match.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: Reks so reminds me of a young Crush. He really needs a flashy finisher to boost him higher in the company. I’d also get rid of the dreadlocks and turn that hair Ric Flair blond. Give him some surfer shorts, flip flops and a boogie board/surfboard. He could even use a modified Surfboard as a finisher.

Paul jumped Tyler, after the match. Tyler fell to the floor. The ref kept Paul and Katie Lea at bay. In the back, Abraham Washington walked to the ring. Your “Main Event” was next.

Abraham Washington moved his Conan O’Brien set up to the rampway. Washington thanked the crowd, who booed him viciously. He seemed to get excited by the negative response. Washington said that he got tons of e-mails for not being on ECW, last week. Washington then introduced his guests. Christian came out first to a lot of love from the Peeps. Washington then got in shots at Tommy Dreamer’s size and eating habits. Tommy then came out in a full white suit. Christian and Tommy shook hands. Tommy refused to shake hands with Washington.

Washington kept throwing barbs at Tommy. The jokes were like amateur night at the local comedy club. Get the hook. Washington then made fun of Christian’s face. Christian responded that his show was made for Public Access. Christian and Tommy talked about being friends. Christian touted himself as the leader and a technician. Washington wanted to know what Tommy brought to the team. Tommy responded “The ECW Championship”. Christian said that he would regain his title on Sunday. Washington stoked the fire when he asked who Christian lost the belt to. Tommy started talking about all the rematches that Christian has received. Washington stopped them for verbally jousting. Washington went back to making fun of Tommy’s eating. Tommy snapped off at Washington for the disrespect. Christian cut him off and wanted to know if they were going to the extreme. Tommy said that if they went there, Christian wouldn’t be on ECW, next week. Christian accused Tommy of being ready to start crying. The two got into a slapping fight as Washington backed off.

Segment Grade: C-

Jay’s Thoughts: In baseball, three strikes and you’re out. Washington has bored us three times with his talk show. Either give him a manager’s license or a pair of wrestling trunks. Take that darn mic away from Shecky. He’s not Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy or Steve Harvey. Maybe he’s trying too hard to push the annoying insult-master gimmick. That worked for Don Rickles, 50 years ago. Today, Washington comes across as a second-rate class clown trying to hang onto his past high school glory. Rather pathetic, if you really think about it.

Final Grade: B-

Final Thoughts: I won’t waste more time trashing Abraham Washington. The rest of the show was pretty good. The new kids need a bit of tweaking but they’re on their way. Burchill, Regal and Goldust should help to move them to higher levels. It won’t be all that long before Reks and Yoshi move to the Crimson or Sapphire Brands. I hope that ECW continues to bring in new talent. I know that there are Hennigs, Rotundas and numerous other stars waiting to get their big break.

–J ay Shannon
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(7/23/09)