HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
ECW (8/25) Extreme Examination
Our resident ringside philosopher reports on this weeks episode of ECW.
Christian retained his ECW title in one of the quickest title matches in recent history. He detonated the KillSwitch before William Regal even got his robe off. Regal then unleashed his cohorts, Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson to destroy Christian. The group would get their official team name on this week’s show and Regal would try to earn himself another title shot.
This Week’s Episode: The Revenge of the Tormentors
The show opened with Christian’s 8-second defeat of William Regal.
William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson came out to the ring. Matt Striker stated that Regal was the leader of the Tormentors. Regal was om street clothes, while Kozlov and Jackson were dressed for war. Regal was amused that the fans were waiting for Jackson and Kozlov to battle each other. Regal said that he had the influence to unite the two warriors. Regal told Christian that the countdown clock on his championship reign was nearing zero.
Captain Charisma came out to address the Brit. Christian suggested that Regal’s rant was killing ratings. Christian taunted Regal with the fact that it was a record-breaking 8 second match. Regal tried to explain that he wasn’t ready but Christian continued to mock him with an “8 Seconds” chant. Regal threatened Christian that if he didn’t get a title rematch, they (The Tormentors) would make his regret the day he won the title. Regal took serious offense at being called “Bill”. Regal said that Bill was a name for a commoner, so Christian kept calling him Bill to irritate him.
Tiffany came out and agreed that Christian did take advantage of an unready Regal. She told Regal if he wanted another shot at the ECW title, he’d have to earn it. She placed Regal against Christian as the main event. If Regal won, he’d get another title shot. If he didn’t win, no title shot for Bill.
Jay’s Thoughts: The ones being tormented by this Regal v Christian feud are the fans. Regal is so past his prime that it’s laughable to see him challenge for the belt. Jackson or Kozlov would make a decent opponent, but Regal should slip into the role of manager. Maybe he could add the Burchills to his little stable.
“The Celtic Warrior”, Sheamus came out to battle his current arch-enemy, Goldust. The two men have both taken wins over the other and this feud is really starting to heat up. Goldust came out in his foo-foo robe, bathed in golden light.
Sheamus v Goldust (Double Count-out)
Sheamus hit a series of Elbow Drops but couldn’t get the pin. Sheamus grabbed a leg and an arm of Goldust and planted his knee in the lower back. Sheamus cranked back. Goldust was sent to the ropes after the move was broken. Goldust returned with a hard straight fist. Goldust nailed an inverted Atomic Drop and then came off the ropes with a Running Clothesline. Sheamus sent Goldust to the ropes and Goldy came back with the Golduster Uppercut and then a Snap Powerslam. Goldust caught Sheamus with a Running Bulldog and a Flatliner. Sheamus went out to the floor. Goldust tried to call Sheamus back into the ring. Goldust went too close to the ropes and Sheamus pulled him to the outside. The two men fought brutally on the outside as the ref continued his count. Goldust threw Sheamus into the steel steps, just as the ref reached 10. It was a double count-out, which ticked off the fans.
Jay’s Thoughts: I actually like this feud. Sheamus needs to battle a solid veteran to kick start his career. Goldust is a great first choice. They are so opposite in appearance and style that it feels natural for the two to square off. Sheamus will likely come out the final victor in this feud but both careers are getting a boost.
Goldust tried to coax Sheamus back into the ring but the Celtic Warrior was done for the night. ECW went to a break, focusing on the replays for SummerSlam. If you didn’t get to see it, the replay is not a bad idea. It turned out to defy it’s own bad booking to become a top-notch event. Ok, Kane v Khali was horrible, but the three main events (DX v Legacy, Randy Orton v John Cena and, especially, C.M. Punk v Jeff Hardy) were so fantastic that they took the show to the stratosphere.
The Bella Twins asked Shelton Benjamin to do his impression of Louie Armstrong, singing What a Wonderful World. Zack Ryder came out and made fun of Shelton’s singing. The two started to grumble, until Tiffany came out and told them that they would partner, later in the night, to fight Tyler Reks and Yoshi Tatsu.
Back in the arena, Matt and Josh Mathews talked about the issues between Paul Burchill and The Hurricane. They sent it to a video package about their first meeting, last week. Hurricane nailed the Eye of the Hurricane to take first blood. The two will face off again, this Thursday, on Superstars. Courtney Taylor interviewed Paul and Katie Lea Burchill. She tried to ask about the match against Hurricane. Katie and Paul teased her and suggested that she should dress up in a Wonder Woman outfit. Paul said that he did under-estimate Gregory Helms but he would take care of the super-hero on Thursday.
Shelton Benjamin came out for his tag team match. He was not happy at the choice of a partner. Zack Ryder was next to arrive for the match. The two men exchanged evil glances at each other. Next out, the Japanese Sensation, Yoshi Tatsu, and “Surfer” Tyler Reks. Tyler, through an insert video, said that both men are Pacific Kids and shared the same mindset. Yoshi talked in Japanese and Tyler was amused, since he didn’t understand a word.
Tyler Reks & Yoshi Tatsu d Shelton Benjamin & Zack Ryder
Shelton reversed an Irish Whip into a Samoan Drop. Zack then blind-tagged himself into the match and started stomping on Tyler. Zack slammed Tyler’s head into the mat, over and over. Zack then cinched in a Rear Chin Lock. Tyler got to his feet and punched away at Zack. The two both hit Crossbodies on the other. Shelton tagged in but ran into a Jawbreaker. Yoshi made the tag and started kicking the legs of the Gold Standard. Yoshi hit a modified Elijah Experience (Double Flying Knees to the chest) and then Barrel Rolled Shelton and himself to the canvas. Yoshi hit a Crescent Kick that nearly took Shelton’s head off. Yoshi went to climb the ropes but got caught. Shelton launched the Tokyoan into the ring, where he landed with a thud. Zack demanded that Shelton get up. Shelton took exception to be ordered by Zack and grabbed him. Shelton Hip Tossed Zack into the ring, which served as a legal tag. Yoshi knocked Shelton out of the way and took out Zack with a Buzzsaw Kick to the skull.
Jay’s Thoughts: I assume ECW is getting ready to face-turn Shelton. Zack is just far too annoying to successfully change from black to white hat. Actually, I don’t expect Tyler or Zack to be around by the end of the year. Their characters just aren’t working with the fans. Yoshi is about the only decent new kid on the block. The jury’s still out if he’s going to become a Muta or a Funaki.
After the faces celebrated, Shelton came back in the ring to confront his partner. Shelton sent Zack into dreamland with Paydirt. Shelton got some cheers for taking out the annoying New Yorker, Zack Ryder.
Matt and Todd sent it to the video package about the SummerSlam Axxess festivities. It was also a chance to help Betty’s Battle, a charity that helps fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The Tormentors came to the ring for the main event. The crowd was seriously hostile towards the Triad of Destruction. The locals went wild when Christian arrived for the match.
William Regal d Christian
Regal must beat Christian to get another title shot.
Regal reversed an Irish Whip and hit a hard Fore-arm shot. Christian flipped Regal out over the top rope. He slid Regal back in the ring and turned to pop Kozlov in the chops. Christian got back in the ring and set for the KillSwitch. Regal shoved out of the move and sent Christian into the waiting cranium of Kozlov. The Siberian Syborg hit his devastating Headbutt into Christian’s chest. Regal then clipped Christian with the Knee Trembler to take the win and earn himself a future title shot (likely at Breaking Point).
Jay’s Thoughts: This feud leaves me cold. Christian really needs to finish off the Brit and then move on to someone that’s actually a challenge for him. Christian should be squaring off against Shelton Benjamin, Kozlov, Jackson, or even Sheamus. Regal just needs to hang it up and become the Paul Jones of the 21st century.
The Tormentors stood over Christian as their evil-sounding music rang out. Fade to black.
Final Grade: B
Final Thoughts: At least there was no Abraham Washington, this week. The matches were acceptable but nothing really spectacular. The main event was so predictable as to make it boring. ECW needs new blood. It’s time to bring up the Rotundas, Hennig and a few of the first generation stars to flesh out the Black Brand.
— Jay Shannon