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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

ECW (11/18) Extreme Examination!

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, looks at all the action and adventure for this week’s Tuesday Night Delight, ECW.

ECW came from Atlanta, GA. Like RAW, thiss show was a lead-in to this Sunday’s Survivor Series. The best announce team in wrestling today, Todd Grisham and Matt Striker welcomed the home crowd to the show.

Miz and Morrison strolled to the ring. Morrison ditched his Road Kill jacket in favor of a John Travolta/Leisure Suit Larry white jacket with the number 52 on front. I have no clue if the number means something. Miz and Morrison were critical of JBL, their captain. They then turned their venom on MVP. Miz and Morrison ridiculed Kane’s movie career but left him pretty much alone out of fear. Miz and Morrison then pushed themselves.

Miz and Morrison made fun of Khali making out with fat chicks. Nothing wrong with big women. They laughed at the short stature of Rey Mysterio. Miz and Morrison taunted Cryme Tyme and called them thieves. Morrison then tore into Captain High Pants, Shawn Michaels. Miz and Morrison mentioned that Shawn was a candidate for the Hall of Fame. M and M also said that Shawn’s team would have communication issues. Miz and Morrison touted their abilities and told everyone to be jealous.

Grade: C
Jay’s Thoughts: Miz and Morrison have the ability to cut a decent promo. My question is: Why won’t they? Their childish antics have reach the point of annoying. I think of them as D-X Lite. They try to do the same things that made D-X legendary, but it’s like watching Scorpion King 2. Anyone else taking the Mathias role, other than The Rock, just doesn’t work. Same with Miz/Morrison. They are not D-X, never have been, never will be.

Tony Chimel introduced the newest members of the ECW members, D.J. Gabriel and Alicia Fox. For those of you who might not recognize Alicia, she was the wedding planner that had a fling with Edge. Gabriel is from England. The two danced in the ring. Striker, correctly, compared Gabriel to a young Alex Wright.

D.J. Gabriel (Steve Lewington) d Saronaro (I think)

The announcers never really introduced the jobber. Gabriel picked up his opponent in what looked like a Belly to Back Suplex. Instead, Gabriel tossed the kid across the ring. Gabriel used a Low Heel Trip to drop his opponent and hit a High Speed Elbow Drop. Gabriel used a Fireman’s Carry Takeover into an Arm Bar. The kid fought back and was sent to the ropes. Gabriel used the Heel Trip to drop his opponent. Gabriel hit a European Uppercut. Gabriel kicked his opponent in the ribs and went to the ropes. Gabriel then hit his finisher, the Cross Fader (a DJ term), which is a Spinning European Clothesline from the middle rope.

Grade: A (Great debut)
Jay’s Thoughts: Gabriel has a great rep coming in. He was one of the top stars in the indies and European markets. I hope that they adjust his character. The 80s dance thing was stale when Alex Wright did it back nearly 15 years ago. The Cross Fader is a great finisher. It goes back to the old days of the Cruiserweights. I think this kid will have a fantastic future, once he graduates from ECW to one of the two major brands. I foresee a feud with William Regal coming.

The duo danced in the ring. Striker said Gabriel was doing the Krush Groove move. It looked more like Curly Howard spinning on the floor. Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck. Jack Swagger walked in the hallway waiting for his Amateur Challenge Match.

Tony Chimel was back to run down the rules for the Amateur Wrestling Challenge. The match would be decided on pinfall, submission or points. Jack Swagger was the first to arrive. This match was set to run only 5 minutes. Tommy Dreamer came out to a deafening roar from the crowd.

Jack Swagger d Tommy Dreamer (by DQ)
Amateur Wrestling Challenge Match

The two men locked up. Jack got 2 points for a Takedown. Jack went to the legs and took down Tommy for 2 points. Tommy escaped for 1 point. Jack used a Gut Wrench to take Tommy down for 2 points. Tommy escaped for 1 point. jack taunted Tommy. Tommy used a Double Leg Takedown for two. Jack turned things around and brought down Tommy for two points. Tommy escaped for 1 point. The ref made jack hit the Referee Position. While I like amateur wrestling, the crowd was getting really bored. Tommy kicked Jack in the ribs and hit the D(reamer)DT to hand the match to Jack. Tommy grabbed the stick and said “Oops, My Bad. You win”. Tommy couldn’t keep a straight face while delivering the line.

Grade: C (Tommy’s line gave it a passing grade)
Jay’s Thoughts I feel bad for both Tommy and Jack. The Amateur Wrestling Challenge might have been interesting if they would have actually used amateur moves. My first girlfriend, Julie, had a brother who wrestled in the amateur ranks. I got dragged to amateur matches, several times. I grew to enjoy it. This was awful. I can only hope the next match is better.

ECW then ran yet another John Cena promo video. Grisham and Striker then talked about Cena v Jericho on Sunday. That led straight into a video feature about the Boogeyman. Boogey comes home to ECW, next week.

ECW then ran a promo for the new Eddie Guerrero DVD. I just picked it up this evening. Going to give it a watch after ECW.

Ricky Ortiz was flirting with Tiffany when Jack Swagger strolled in. Jack started to rip into Tiffany but Ortiz stepped in. Ortiz and Swagger got into a war of words until Teddy Long came in. Swagger demanded a rematch. Teddy said the rematch would be in Tommy’s Environment, next week. Their battle will be in an Extreme Rules match.

Grisham and Striker ran down the full card of Survivor Series. Striker used his chalkboard to describe the battle between Team Batista and Team Orton. When Striker mentioned Mark Henry might wipe out the entire Batista team, Mark’s music sounded off. Mark Henry and Tony Atlas walked to the ring. The six man main event would kick off, next.

Mark Henry, William Regal & Cody Rhodes d Kofi Kingston, Finlay & Matt Hardy

This match was just a glorified informercial for the various stars. William Regal really got a strong push in this match. The end was a typical chaotic ending. Kofi went after Mark with various kicks to his Redwood size thighs. Kofi went for an Irish Whip but Mark did his best Blob (of X-Men fame) impression and stood his ground. Mark then whipped Kofi to the corner. Kofi made a fatal mistake by trying for a Crossbody off the ropes. Mark caught Kofi and planted him with The World’s Strongest Slam to take the win.

Grade: B
Jay’s Thoughts Maybe it was because I watched this at 2 in the morning (late day at work) but the match came across as boring. The six men are very talented but slipping them all into the classic Survivor Series Team match is meaningless. I prefer singles and tag matches. The writers took their focus off the proper people. Matt Hardy, who is still nursing a minor injury, was almost non-existent in this match. He needs to drop the title and get well. Cody was in the match quite a bit but just didn’t seem to do anything. Mark Henry stomped in, threw a few power moves, and left. I’m wondering if he’s not at 100%. The efforts of Kofi and Regal did bring the grade up.

Final Grade: C
Final Thoughts Will Ricky Ortiz ever wrestle again? They touted his 6-0 record. Of course, he’s been in ECW for something like 12 weeks. ECW seems to be in another stage of flux. With all the budget cuts in WWE, I’m wondering if ECW is being phased out. It would be simple to merge the talent into the other two brands. ECW really doesn’t have it’s own identity. Next week, Boogeyman returns. (and the crowd yawned their approval). Boogey really didn’t do anything in the past. There is no reason to think that he will change his mediocre efforts upon his return. I’m hoping that Jack Swagger will move on to battle Ricky Ortiz.

A friend and I were talking about ECW the other day. He made a suggestion that I thought was brilliant. Since Raw doesn’t have a true GM, move Teddy Long over to the Crimson Brand. His spot could be filled by the man who should have had the job for many years, Tommy Dreamer. Tommy could re-infuse the original spirit of the brand back into the limping Black Brand.

–Jay Shannon
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