ECW (7/9) Extreme Examination

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (7/9) Extreme Examination
Our resident philosopher looks at a special Thursday night edtion of ECW

Welcome to a special Thursday Night edition of Tuesday Night….wrestling. SYFY decided that they needed Tuesday to unveil a new sci-fi series, so ECW got shifted to Thursday. ECW, this week, was a mix of decent action and another long episode of Abraham Washington’s Amateur Night at the Comedy Club.

ECW came live, on tape, from Bakersfield, CA.

The show began with a run-down of the night’s card. Kozlov v Christian for a shot at Tommy Dreamer’s title was the main event.

The Bellas, dressed is luscious gold, came to the ring. Nikka Bella was up for action against Katie Lea Burchill. The Bellas talked to the crowd. They played a little “Which twin is which?” with the crowd to a huge pop. The Scarlet Witch, Katie Lea, got a decent pop as she came from the back.

Nikki Bella (well, actually Brie) d Katie Lea Burchill

The Finish:

Nikki came back with an Arm Drag and Dropkick. Katie flipped Nikki over the ropes and the twin fell off the apron. Katie hit a Neckbreaker off the ropes. The Bellas switched and Brie hit the X-Factor to steal a win from the Scarlet Witch.

Grade: B

Jay’s Thoughts: A Diva match on ECW feels as out of place as hubcaps on a tractor. Katie should be going after one of the two women’s titles. She’s totally lost on ECW. As for the Bellas, neither could wrestle their way out of their sequined pantyhose. Katie Lea is enough of a professional to make this match work.

Josh and Matt talked about the Trade and the New Talent Initiative. They sent it to last week’s match between Yoshi Tatsu and Shelton Benjamin. Shelton insulted Yoshi, over and over. Yoshi took out Shelton with a brutal Crescent Kick to the face.

Yoshi came out to a monster pop from the crowd. Yoshi was set to battle Shelton, once again, after a quick commercial break.

Yoshi waited for his opponent as ECW continued. The Gold Standard came out, walking with a cockiness that made it clear he had no intention of losing.

Shelton Benjamin d Yoshi Tatsu

The Finish:

Shelton had Yoshi on the mat. Yoshi nailed a Crossbody off the Irish Whip. Yoshi missed a Dropkick when Shelton held the ropes. Shelton set for a Powerbomb but turned it into a drop onto the top turnbuckle. Shelton locked in a modified Kokina Clutch on the Japanese star. Yoshi battled to his feet but Shelton threw him back down. Shelton hit multiple Headbutts on Yoshi. Yoshi tried to fight back but Shelton went for the Rear Chin Lock from a Camel Clutch position. The crowd was really vocal in favor of Yoshi. Yoshi used a Snap Mare to get free. Shelton grabbed the leg and went for the Wheelbarrow Slam. Yoshi shifted his weight and went for a Roll-up. Yoshi came back with a flurry of martial arts kick and the old Elijah Burke Double Knees to the chest. Yoshi used an unusual Front Roll for a near fall. Shelton missed a Splash in the corner. Yoshi hit a Springboard Leg Lariat. Shelton came back with an Over-head Release Belly to Belly Suplex. Both men were down.The two men went for Spin Kicks, but missed. Shelton hit a variation of his Paydirt finisher to take the win.

Grade: A+

Jay’s Thoughts: Shelton and Yoshi are possibly the two best stars in ECW, if not WWE. Both men have a full arsenal of moves at their disposal. They both have the right look to make it to the next level. The feud between these two will help boost ECW.

ECW ran a video package on Vladimir Kozlov. it was similar to the old Ivan Drago/Rocky IV training video.

The Raw Rebound was next up. Ted DiBiase, Sr. was the Guest Host on Monday night. Ted said he wrote a check to get the job. Triple H v John Cena was the main event on Monday. The match should have been a PPV level battle but it ended up rather dull, until Legacy came in and attacked both men. Ted, Sr. was ticked that his son and Cody Rhodes trashed the event. Ted then put both Cena and HHH into the title match against Randy Orton at Night of Champions.

Ezekiel Jackson stomped out for his debut match on ECW. His victim was local guy, Jack Murdel. The ran a video insert of Ezekiel before the match.

Ezekiel Jackson d Jack Murdel

Jackson pounded on the Cali Kid’s back. Jackson lifted Jack onto his shoulder and rushed him to the corner. Big Zeke then locked in a Bear Hug and rushed him to the corner. Jack tried to slide under Zeke but got caught. Jackson just kept pounding away and then hit a Clothesline off the Irish Whip. Jackson finished off the jobber with a Uranage Chokeslam, Sweet Domination.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: Jackson is the latest monster in the company. He has taken the spot once held by Ahmed Johnson. Heck, he looks a lot like him. Jackson may have a challenge in the offing with the returning Chris Masters. Masters should be back in the WWE within a few weeks. Since Kozlov flopped as the brutal juggernaut, Jackson may be placed in that role.

There was an incident in the back where The Hurricane saved a woman. Tiffany rushed up to see what was going on. Hurricane was long gone.

Time for a break from good action to allow the newest talk segment to kill a good amount of limited TV time. Abraham Washington, one of the new faces in ECW, was back for another show. The crowd was brutal with their boos. He actually thought the fans liked him. He talked about how all the big names are talking about him. Washington said his number one show needed a number one kinda guy. He brought the big dog of ECW, the champ, Tommy Dreamer. Tommy was dressed up, with jacket and nice shirt, along with jeans.

The crowd cut loose with an “E-C-W” chant. Washington pretended to show respect to Tommy by calling him the “Biggest Star” of ECW. In fact, it was a chance to make fun of Tommy’s size. Chris Rock, he ain’t. Tommy then dissed on Washington for his talk show. Washington then made fun of Tommy’s age. Tommy threw his respect to the kids in the business who got their big break in ECW. He even got a shout-out to the late Eddie Guerrero. Washington talked about Tommy’s tough matches. Washington wanted to know who’s Tommy’s toughest opponent was…Jenny Craig? Tommy turned around and made fun of Washington’s hair. Too funny. Washington butchered Vladimir Coleslaw’s name (it’s Kozlov).

Washington asked Tommy which man he would rather face…Christian or Kozlov. Tommy admitted he respected Christian and would prefer to face him. Enter Vladimir Kozlov. Tommy and Kozlov had a staredown as Washington begged the two not to tear up his set. Washington said that Kozlov would face Dreamer at Night of Champions. Kozlov would have to get past Christian, first. That main event would happen, next.

Segment Grade: C (Tommy saved it)

Jay’s Thoughts: Abraham Washington is pathetic. He’s annoying and not funny. Tommy really did a great job of tearing Washington a new one. I still have this fear that Washington will replace Tiffany as GM.

Kozlov was still in the ring as ECW continued. Tommy Dreamer had joined the announce team as Captain Charisma, Christian, came out to battle the big Russian.

Christian d Vladimir Kozlov
Number One Contender Match

The Finish:

Kozlov went out and threw Christian into the apron. Christian then ran Kozlov into the ring post. Christian came off the top rope with a Missile Dropkick but couldn’t get the pin. Christian staggered to the corner and tried for hit Spiral Sunset Flip. Kozlov pounded the back of Christian and then locked him in the Fireman’s Carry, again. Kozlov hit the Shock Treatment (Abyss) and sent Christian to the corner. The turnbuckle padding had come off the top turnbuckle when Kozlov pulled Christian off the ropes. When Kozlov rushed into the corner, he struck his head on the exposed steel. Christian nailed the KillSwitch to earn a shot at Tommy Dreamer’s title in Night of Champions.

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: It was a bit of a surprise to see Christian get Kozlov’s title shot. I can only imagine that they are holding back Kozlov for Summerslam. Christian v Dreamer will provide a decent match but nothing special. Kozlov v Dreamer would have been 1000% better for drawing crowd reaction, I think. Kozlov, once again, is being mis-used by the WWE.

Final Grade: B

Final Thoughts: Dump Washington. He is an albatross that’s bringing down a good show. Hopefully, someone will come out and shut him down, quickly. Let him be Ezekiel Jackson’s manager or compete in the ring. A few more weeks of that and most fans will be looking for re-runs of Married…With Children to watch. As for the real stars of ECW, major kudos to both Shelton and Yoshi. They are going to be the foundation of the “new” ECW, unless they get moved over to one of the bigger shows. I look forward to a few more new faces, in the next few weeks. I know that there are a few second/third generation stars down in FCW just itching for a chance to show off. You’ll be hearing the names of Rotundo/a, Hennig, DiBiase (yes, another one), as well as lots of new kids that are just getting started.

Peace

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(7/10/09)