HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW *1/27) Extreme Examination!
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, takes a look at the post Royal Rumble edition of ECW. ECW is looking at some major changes in house.
Teddy Long walked out to start the show. the crowd their love to the ECW General Manager. Teddy talked about the Royal Rumble. He sent it to a video package of the highlights. I’ve now watched the Rumble twice and I’m still amazed at how good the show was. The video package ended with Matt Hardy cracking his own brother, Jeff, in the skull with a chair. Teddy said that Matt requested his release from ECW and a transfer to Smackdown. Teddy went to start the action when Jack Swagger’s music went off. The ECW champ waltzed to the ring and held his ECW title aloft.
Jack said that ECW has a great show, thanks to Jack Swagger. Jack said he was going to have a Championship Celebration for himself, later on. He should have talked to Chavo Guerrero about celebrations and fiestas. Chavo took a guitar shot between the eyes from C.M. Punk when Chavo celebrated his title win.
As Jack started to leave the ring, The Boogeyman came from under the ring. Jack looked rather uncomfortable being around the worm-chomper. ECW took a quick break.
ECW sent it to the video package for Wrestlemania I. It also included some clips of other ‘Manias. WWE will be releasing a new video game just before Wrestlemania featuring the superstars and the ability to re-write history. I talked with a friend at an unnamed video game store, who told me the pre-orders for the new game have been off the charts.
Boogeyman still danced around and nibbled on worms. Boogey had Ricky Ortiz as his opponent. Ortiz told Boogey that he didn’t need to eat worms. He needed a Ricky Rally Towel to Rally Up. Boogeyman Clotheslined Ortiz over the top rope. Ortiz walked away from the ring. So…
Boogeyman d Ricky Ortiz (by Countout, I think)
Jay’s Thoughts: It’s bad enough to give Papa Shango Jr. a push but to have him not even have to wrestle for it is ridiculous. Ricky Ortiz is becoming more and more useless in ECW. He’s quickly falling in line with so many others: Lex Luger, Lanny Poffo, Jim Duggan, Kamala, etc… that came in looking like something special, only to have the WWE misuse them.
Jack Swagger came into Teddy’s office and said that his championship belt was missing. Teddy told Jack to see if Tiffany was available to help him (Jack) find his title.
ECW ran a promo for the Elimination Chamber matches at No Way Out. Paul Burchill, with Katie Lea, waited for his opponent. This ended up a United Kingdom match-up, as Finlay arrived. Hornswoggle was under the ring.
Finlay d Paul Burchill
Paul Power Whipped Finlay to the corner. Paul threw his knees into Finlay’s back. Hornswoggle came out and chased Katie Lea around. When Paul went to attack the diminutive one, Finlay jumped Paul. Finlay took the battle to Paul with a front Senton Roll. Finlay then finished off Paul Burchill with the Emerald Fusion/Celtic Cross.
Jay’s Thoughts: Finlay is building to a major push. Paul Burchill has dropped to the lowest of jobbers in the company. Paul really needs to either get pushed or pushed out. Katie Lea should be on Raw, going after Melina. Finlay is the only person who is right where he should be.
Ortiz talked with Tiffany about Boogeyman. Jack walked up and demanded that Tiffany help him find his championship belt. They walked off together.
ECW went to a video sneak peak of 12 Rounds. I originally thought this was going to be some sort of boxing movie but it’s basically a rehashing, sort of, of The Marine. Cena plays a cop who costs a bad guy his girlfriend in an accident. A year later, the bad guy goes after Cena’s squeeze for revenge. Expect this one to end up in the $5 bin, real quick.
Mark Henry and Tony Atlas walked backstage. Jack Swagger asked Mark and Tony if they had seen his title belt. Mark was offended by the accusation, as he saw it, that he had taken the belt. He told Jack that if he had taken it, there was nothing that Jack could do about it. Jack and Tiffany continued their search as ECW went to break.
ECW looked at the situation from Monday Night Raw where Orton talked about having IED, a legit psychological disorder. Orton said he was not responsible for his actions. They showed the assault on Vince McMahon. Orton threatened to sue the WWE if Stephanie McMahon fired him. He actually begged Steph to fire him. He threatened to prevent Wrestlemania from happening. Orton screamed at Stephanie to fire him. Stephanie said “Firing you would be too easy. WE have bigger plans”. Shane McMahon stomped to the ring and tore into Randy with a brutality unlike anything seen from the 4th generational star. Randy tucked tail and ran from Shane.
Mark Henry and Tony Atlas made their way to the ring for the next match. Mark’s mood was foul, as usual. Mark’s opponent was Tommy Dreamer, who was trying to establish himself as a legit contender to the ECW title. Tommy got the loudest pop of the night when he came from the back.
Mark Henry d Tommy Dreamer
Tommy came off the ropes with a Low Dropkick. Tommy kicked Mark in the face. Tommy hit a Flying Clothesline off the ropes to drop Mark. Tommy Dropkicked the left knee of Mark Henry. Tommy yelled ECW and hit a Hesitation Dropkick in the corner. Tommy went for a Crossbody off the ropes but Mark caught him and nailed the World’s Strongest Slam to derail the ECW Legend.
Jay’s Thoughts: Ok, I have a little problem with this match. Tommy is trying to build himself up for one last run at the ECW title. He says he’ll win it by June 6th or retire. Why would the WWE put Tommy in a situation of losing the very first match after he made his Retirement Challenge? It totally made Tommy look pathetic. A Double DQ or count-out win would have at least given Tommy the feel of success. This will further depress his character’s momentum. Dumb booking.
Also, with such a limited roster, why have Tommy start with Mark Henry? Shouldn’t he have been doing a Goldberg Push, where Tommy would soundly defeat a string of jobbers to build himself up? It’s like the WWE wants Tommy to look weak. That stinks. The action in this match was really good, I just didn’t care for the ending.
Jack and Tiffany said that they looked everywhere to find his title, but couldn’t. Teddy told Jack to come with him to the ring to get his title back. ECW then ran the Wrestlemania 21 video highlight package.
Teddy grumbled about someone taking the ECW title. Teddy demanded that the title be returned. When no one came out, at first, Teddy threatened disciplinary action against whoever took the title. Jack demanded the return of his title. Finlay strolled from the back with a microphone. Finlay said he was pretty sure who had the title belt…Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle danced around with the title belt. Finlay got in the ring and then told Hornswoggle to join him. Swagger yelled at Finlay to give him back his title. Finlay said that if he wanted the title, he’d take the title from him. Finlay then insulted Finlay’s ability as a father.
Swagger shoved Hornswoggle to the mat. Finlay knocked down the ECW champ and then grabbed the title belt. Finlay clocked Swagger in the head with the ECW title belt. The Finlays left the knocked out ECW champ in the ring.
Jay’s Thoughts: Swagger is likely going to feud with Finlay to hold him over until late May. Then, he’ll battle Tommy Dreamer to try and save Tommy’s career. Swagger may end up having to battle Mark Henry along the way. The WWE will likely throw D.J. Gabriel, Ricky Ortiz and even Paul Burchill at Jack Swagger over the next few months to build him up.
Final Grade: B-
Final Thoughts: I have to admit that I’m really worried about ECW. The roster just keeps shrinking. Matt jumping ship to Smackdown was a bad move. They should have moved Jeff over to ECW, instead. Of course, the WWE is going to put their big talent on the more watched shows. ECW really needs to pull in some fresh talent to liven up the show. Ricky Ortiz has been a major flop as a wrestler. With all the cost-cutting measures that the WWE has done lately, I worry what might be next for ECW. I was hoping the re-arrival of Rob Van Dam at Royal Rumble might lead to him coming to ECW. From everything that I’ve read, the RVD appearance was a one-shot deal. ECW will survive this slump, I hope.