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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (9/8) Extreme Examination
Our resident philosopher takes a look at a power-packed hour of extreme action.

Hurricane returned to battle his arch-nemesis, Paul Burchill. The main event pitted ECW Champion, Christian, and ECW Hardcore Legend. Tommy Dreamer, against the brutal Tormentors (Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson).

This Week’s Episode: Time to take a stand

The fun new intro for Hurricane opened the show. The Green Guardian came out to a hero’s welcome. Tony Chimel remembered to leave off the Helms part of Hurricane’s name. Paul Burchill, along with Katie Lea Burchill, stormed out in a foul mood.

Hurricane d Paul Burchill

The Finish:

Paul had Hurricane on the mat, trapped in a Side Head Lock. The crowd broke loose with a “U-S-A” chant. Paul got a Kneelift in and sent Hurricane to the corner. Paul charged and ended up striking the ring post, when Hurricane dodged. Hurricane hit the Thesz Press and started to pound away. Hurricane nailed a brutal Spin Neckbreaker for a two count. Hurricane went to the top rope for a Flying Crossbody. He only got a two. Hurricane sent Paul to the corner. Paul booted Hurricane but Hurricane fought back. Paul went to the top rope and Hurricane followed. Paul caught Hurricane and hit a Bam Bam (Bigelow) Slam off the middle rope for a two. Paul sent Hurricane to the corner. Hurricane came out with a Hurancanrana. Katie Lea got on the apron to distract Hurricane (easy to do when you look like the Scarlet Witch does). Hurricane missed with the Shining Wizard and then had to put on the brakes, not to run into Katie Lea. Paul charged at Hurricane and ended up knocking his sister off the apron. Hurricane nailed the Eye of the Hurricane to take the win.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: I really like this feud. The come across as opposites,which makes for the best feuds. Hurricane is a bit silly and playful, while Burchill is all business. I’m wondering if ECW is getting ready to push a love affair between Hurricane and Katie Lea. Having Paul knock her off the ring leads me to think it’s a possible.

Matt Striker and Josh Mathews reviewed the issues between Tommy Dreamer, Christian, William Regal, Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov. Dreamer and Christian brought out the Singapore canes. In the back, Savanna (aka Angela Fong from FCW) made her debut as the newest interview girl. From what I’ve heard through the rumor mills, she’s being considered as the replacement ring announcer for Lilian Garci on Monday Night Raw. There are several people in the running for the position. Anyway, she talked with Dreamer and Christian. Dreamer talked about ECW being his life for the last 18 years. Christian said that they were standing up for all ECW members, past and present. Christian said that they were taking a stand and ready for a fight.

Shelton Benjamin arrived for the next match. He was teaming with Sheamus. Talk about Ebony and Ivory. They faced the returning Yoshi Tatsu and his partner, Goldust. Goldust got the best pop of the four.

Goldust and Yoshi Tatsu d Shelton Benjamin and Sheamus

The Finish:

Goldust went after Sheamus with sharp fists. Sheamus reversed an Irish Whip and sent Goldust to the ropes. Goldust came off the ropes with a Flying Clothesline. He followed that up with a standard Clothesline and sent Sheamus to the ropes. Goldust caught Sheamus with an Inverted Atomic Drop and a Running Kick to the face. Goldust took his eye off the prize just long enough to smack Shelton, on the apron. That allowed Sheamus to jump Goldust from the blind side. Goldust reversed an Irish Whip and sent Sheamus into his own corner. Shelton made a blind tag as Sheamus booted Goldust. Shelton slid into the ring and took a surprise pin.

Grade: A-

After the match, Sheamus and Shelton got into one heck of a nasty fistfight. Sheamus was offended that Shelton “stole” his victory. Sheamus made a few comments that could have been seen as slightly racist (calling him “boy”). The refs had to pull them apart. They went all over the ringside area, fighting.

Jay’s Thoughts: Since Sheamus has pretty much come out the winner in his feud with Goldust, this is a logical next step in his climb to the top of ECW. Shelton is one of the top younger stars in the company. It will be a great power v speed series of battles. Congratulations to the writing team for having the smarts to set these two against each other.

Zack Ryder waltzed from the back for the next match. He faced Rory Fargo. I’m not sure if Rory is related to the infamous Fargo Brothers but he looked like a very young Tommy “Wildfire” Rich.

Zack Ryder v Rory Fargo

Zack opened with a Kneelift and slaps to the head. Rory Float Over a Scoop Slam and tried to School Boy Zack. Zack lost it and choked Rory on the ropes. He then kicked him in the skull. Rory fought back with Fore-arm shots. Zack sent Rory to the corner with a Drop Toe Hold. He then hit a Boot Wash. Zack pulled Rory to the middle of the ring and finished him off with the Zack Attack.

Grade: B

Jay’s Thoughts: These seems like a backwards step for Zack. Thrashing a jobber is an entry-level gimmick. Someone that has been in the company as long as Zack deserves a match against someone higher up the food chain. He should be battling Tyler Reks or someone like him.

Matt and Josh ran down the updated Breaking Point card. In the back, Tiffany talked with Tyler Reks. William Regal came in and Tyler left. Regal was offended that Tiffany allowed Dreamer and Christian attack the Tormentors with canes. Tiffany said that the previous week, Christian was brutally attacked by the Tormentor Triad. Regal promised to win the ECW title on Sunday and also swore that Kozlov and Jackson would take out Dreamer and Christian.

The Ruthless Roundtable came from the back. Regal was serving as the manager of record for the night. They got minimal heat from the crowd. The crowd came to life as the Heart and Soul of ECW, Tommy Dreamer, was introduced. Tommy showed his love to the crowd. He was quickly joined by the ECW champ, Christian. Christian will be defending his ECW title in Canada, on Sunday.

Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov d Tommy Dreamer and Christian

The Finish:

Christian finally slipped free of the Ventura BodyVise and dove for his corner. He didn’t make it, as Kozlov caught him. Christian was sent sailing with the Fallaway Slam. Christian kicked out at two. Jackson tagged back in and pounded on the ribs. Jackson slapped on the Inverted Full Nelson aka the Butterfly Lock. Jackson sent Christian into the air with the Butterfly Suplex. Kozlov came back in and started Shouldering Christian in the corner. The ref pulled Kozlov back and when he rushed in, again, Christian moved and Kozlov struck the top turnbuckle. Christian flew off the ropes with a Spinning European Uppercut to drop the Siberian Syborg. Tommy and Jackson both made tags and started to tear into each other. Tommy caught Jackson with a Kneelift after he (Tommy) was whipped to the ropes. Tommy dropped Jackson with a High Crossbody and punched away at Jackson’s skull. Tommy backed up and hit a Running Bulldog on Jackson. Tommy tried for a Side Suplex but couldn’t lift the much-larger Jackson. Tommy Floated Over a Scoop Slam and hit the Funk Neckbreaker. Tommy went to the top rope and hit a Frog Splash. Kozlov made the save. Christian rushed in and took the big Russian to the floor. Regal grabbed the ankle and distracted Tommy. The ref didn’t see a thing, as he was watching Christian and Kozlov. Jackson dropped Tommy with the Mon-Star (Uranage Powerbomb) to take the win.

Grade: A-

The Tormentor Triad stood over Tommy. Regal locked in the Regal Stretch on Tommy. Regal then booted Christian in the head, as the ECW champ tried to save his partner.

Jay’s Thoughts: Jackson and Kozlov need to be pushed in the tag team division. A battle between the Tormentors and Beauty and the Beast (Chris Jericho and Big Show) could be awesome. I’m going to jump the gun, just a little, with an early prediction for Breaking Point. I really think Regal is going to take the belt. Christian really doesn’t have a submission move. He has the KillSwitch and a few other interesting moves, but nothing that would force a tap-out. Regal has the brutal Regal Stretch. While Tommy and Christian looked strong in the match, Jackson and Kozlov were just too much for them. Unless WWE does something really stupid, the Tormentors are future Unified tag champions, you can bet the farm on it.

Final Grade: A-

Final Thoughts: Thankfully, ECW stayed with the action, this week. No Abraham Washington or Tony Atlas. I have a funny feeling that several of the newer kids will finally get their shot when Regal takes the belt on Sunday. I’m only hoping that Regal is a transitional champion. I hope he drops the belt, quickly, before he can damage its value (anymore than it’s already been damaged). I look forward to the upcoming feuds between Regal and men like Yoshi Tatsu, Shelton Benjamin and Tyler Reks. There may well be a few other new faces coming to the Black Brand, shortly. The next few weeks should be rather fun to watch.

— Jay Shannon
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