ECW (7/28) Extreme Examination

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (7/28) Extreme Exam
Our resident philosopher looks at all the action and drama on the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW

There’s a new man atop Extreme Mountain. Christian defeated Tommy Dreamer in a fantastic match at Night of Champions. This week’s episode of ECW gave some of the new kids a chance to shine, especially Zack Ryder. The best part of the show? No Abraham Washington.

The show kicked off with a look at the ECW title match at Night of Champions. The match was a definite show stealer battle. Both Christian and Tommy were in control of the battle, until Christian detonated the KillSwitch to win his second ECW title.

Tyler Reks, now billed from Laguna Beach, CA, came out for the opening contest. Paul Burchill and his sister, Katie Lea Burchill, came out to battle Reks. Last week, Burchill attacked Reks after losing to the surfer boy.

Tyler Reks d Paul Burchill

The Finish:

Tyler rolled Paul back into the ring. Tyler then hit a Flying Crossbody off the top rope for a two count. Tyler Irish Whipped Paul to the corner but the cagey Brit was able to flip Tyler over the ropes and onto the apron. Paul kicked and punched at Tyler and then ran him the length of the apron to send him into the ring post. Somehow, Tyler was able to shrug off the devastating move. Tyler spun around the ring post, grabbed Paul’s head and drove Paul’s neck down across the top rope. Paul stumbled backwards and Tyler nailed a great Springboard Missile Dropkick to take a second win over Paul.

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: Tyler continues to impress me. He really still needs a unique finisher to take it to the next level. That will come, in time. Putting him in a feud with Burchill was brilliant. Paul is a solid grappler that can push anyone to superstar status.

ECW was in the home of my favorite director (John Waters), Baltimore, MD. Vladimir Kozlov came out for the weekly squash match. His victim was Bill Baine. These matches take me back to the old Mike Reid/World Class days.

Vladimir Kozlov d Bill Baine

The Soviet Syborg kicked away at Bill and went for the Al Snow Locked Headbutts. Kozlov launched Bill like Sputnik with an Over-head Belly to Belly Release Suplex. Kozlov lifted Bill into a Fireman’s Carry and then dropped Bill onto the top ropes, bridging the corner. Bill got a couple of punches in, before Kozlov Bum Rushed Bill into the corner. Kozlov threw vicious Shoulder Thrusts and then dropped Bill, again, over the top ropes. Kozlov Field Goaled the ribs of Bill and then hit a Fallaway Slam. Kozlov finished off his opponent with the Iron Curtain.

Grade: B-

After the match, Ezekiel Jackson stormed from the back. The two powerhouses stared at each other. The crowd started a “U-S-A” chant. Jackson walked over and picked up Bill. He nailed the Mon-Star (Uranage Chokeslam) and left the ring.

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m not quite sure where ECW is going with the whole Jackson/Kozlov thing. Logic would say that they are preparing to battle each other. I’m wondering if they are getting ready to create the next big Russian/American alliance team, much like the Nikita Koloff/Dusty Rhodes union of so many years back. Big Dust does have a lot of input on ECW. I could even see the name being…the Cold War-riors (ok, you can groan now.). I’d really like to see that team make a run for the tag belts.

Tiffany talked with Tommy Dreamer. She thanked Tommy for all he’s done, recently. Shelton Benjamin came in and asked about being a guest on Abraham Washington’s talk show. Tiffany explained that Washington didn’t feel Shelton was entertaining enough for his show. (There are so many things I could say, but I’ll be nice). Gregory “Hurricane” Helms came in and wanted to talk with the ECW GM. Shelton lambasted Helms for dressing up like a superhero. Shelton said if Washington needed him (Shelton) to be more entertaining, he’d do just that.

Sheamus came out for the next match. His new music sounds a lot like Clannad meets Poison. (If you’re not familiar with Clannad, find a copy of the British series, Robin of Sherwood.) Sheamus’s opponent was the Bizarre One, Goldust.

Sheamus d Goldust

The Finish:

Goldust got to the vertical base and then started throwing wild punches. Sheamus missed a charge in the corner and Goldust rained (would that be Black Reign’d) punches down onto the Irishman. Sheamus tossed Goldust off the ropes but Goldust was able to nail a Running Kneelift. The two men exchanged fists and Goldust hit the Golduster Uppercut. He also hit a Snap Powerslam on Sheamus. Goldust tried to end it with the Final Cut but Sheamus got a wicked Fore-arm shot to the face of Goldust. Sheamus nailed a Bicycle Kick and then ended things with the Uranage Backbreaker.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: Sheamus needs a bit more work but he’s on his way to super-stardom. He probably won’t win the World or WWE titles but he just might take the ECW, US or Intercontinental title, somewhere down the road. His odd look could be cultivated and pushed to new levels for marketing purposes. I think he and Finlay could partner to form an outstanding team. Sheamus could learn so much from the other Irish battler. Early testing of Sheamus put him feuding with Finlay. I think teaming him with the Belfast Brawler would send Sheamus to heights he could never imagine.

As for Goldust, he is right where he should be. He’s now the teacher, instead of being the student. He’s offering the new kids the chance to really shine, sometimes at his expense. Goldy may never wear a title belt in the WWE but at least he can take full advantage of being one of the most unique characters in WWE history. I met Dustin, many years ago in Dallas, and have been a fan of his since his earliest days. I’m still hoping for a Rhodes Boys Reunion and a run at the tag belts but I doubt that it will ever happen.

Christian walked towards the entrance ramp. He was ready to make a speech about winning the second ECW title. That and the main event were next.

Before Christian made his entrance, ECW sent it to the Raw Rebound. Shaquille O’Neal was the Guest Host on Monday. He got into it with the tag champs, Chris Jericho and The Big Show. Shaq set up a non-title tag match, pitting the tag champs against Cryme Tyme. The match ended in a DQ loss for the champs, when Show got his team disqualified for failing to heed the ref’s instructions and attacking both opponents, while not being the legal man. That led to a staredown between Show and Shaq. The two men Goozled each other and were at a Mexican Stand-off until Cryme Tyme jumped Show. That allowed Shaq to Shoulder Block Big Show and send him tumbling out of the ring.

Captain Charisma, Christian, came out to a deafening pop from his Peeps. He held his ECW strap high as he prepared to walk down the ramp. After playing up to the crowd, Christian got down to business. He took the stick and started discussing how his second ECW title win was sweeter than the first. Christian said losing the ECW title was a good thing, because it made him realize how the title meant to him. Christian started talking about Tommy Dreamer and the fun he has had in recent weeks, making fun of Tommy’s weight and emotionalism.

Tommy Dreamer then came out to confront the man that beat him on Sunday. Matt and Josh figured that Tommy would be crest-fallen and depressed. Tommy was actually in good spirits. Christian offered his hand, which Tommy refused. Christian joked about just talking about Tommy. Tommy was not amused. He told Christian that he came out for two reason: 1. To congratulate the new champ and 2. To let Christian know that he had set up his rematch against the new champ, next week. Tiffany, the GM, had agreed to allow the rematch to be contested under Extreme Rules!

Before Christian could react, Zack Ryder came from the back. Zack wanted to talk about this week, not next week. Woo Woo Woo. Tommy and Christian shook hands as the ECW champ prepared for his non-title match, ECW went to break.

Christian v Zack Ryder
Non-title match

The Finish:

Christian slammed Zack into the corner and then climbed the turnbuckle to set for the Tornado DDT. Zack blocked the first attempt at the devastating move. Christian Back Kicked Zack and went back to the corner. Zack lifted Christian into the Electric Chair position but chose to drop Christian forward onto the top rope, instead of falling backwards. Zack hit a very impressive Fling Leg Lariat. Zack became frustrated when he didn’t get the pin. Christian moved to the corner and managed to nail the Tornado DDT. Zack kicked out at two. Christian charged Zack in the corner but Ryder slipped sideways and Christian struck the ring post. Zack tried for his Zack Attack finisher, but Christian blocked it. Christian Snap Mared Zack and moved to the corner. Christian used a Pendulum Kick to stun Zack. Christian hit the Spinning European Uppercut off the middle rope. Christian pulled the KillSwitch to end one of the best ECW matches in recent history.

Grade: A+

Jay’s Thoughts: Much like Matt Striker, I am now a major fan on Zack Ryder. I’m looking past the Rick Martel wanna-be attire and the silly “Woo Woo Woo” chant. This kid has that certain something that will, one day, lead him to one of the top two titles in the company. It will likely take 2-4 years to get there but Zack Ryder will be either the World or WWE champion before finishing with the company. (That’s assuiming he lasts with the company that long). Just as John Morrison moved past MNM and Shawn Michaels catapulted light years ahead of his Rockers beginnings, Zack Ryder will leave his “brother” Curt Hawkins in the “Where are they now?” catagory, along with Marty Jannetty, Joey Mercury, Jim Neidhart and so many others.

Final Grade: A-

Final Thoguhts: The fact that Abraham Washington didn’t waste the main event position, this week, tells me that wishes can come true. The main event was absolutely amazing. I had my daughter and two grandsons over to watch the show with me. All 3 felt that the main event was better than anything we had watched, the night before, on Raw. I can only hope that when Tommy Dreamer retires, he will be placed in charge of writing and booking for the Land of Extreme. I also hope that Tommy doesn’t get the job for many years.

Peace

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(7/29/09)