Shannon: ECW Extreme Examinatio!

Shannon: The Extreme Examination for 10/7/2008

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

The ECW Extreme Examination for 10/7/2008

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, gives his thoughts and results for the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW

The pyros and fire erupted on the stage as Todd Grisham and Matt Striker welcome the home audience to the show. The Family Finlay came to the ring for a tag match. The lil’ guy (Hornswoggle) wasn’t a part of the action, officially. Finlay’s partner was the Hardcore Legend (and the wrestler I admire the most), Tommy Dreamer. ECW ran a highlight reel of the issues between Jack Swagger and Tommy.

The opponents for this battle were Mike Knox and Jack Swagger. Swagger grinned as he walked down the aisle.

Tommy Dreamer & Finlay d Mike Knox & Jack Swagger

This match was almost a 3 (2 1/2) on 1 Handicap match, since Swagger got almost no ring time. The end was a chaotic mess as Finlay ducked a boot by Knox and then knocked Swagger off the apron. Finlay took the fight to Knox with several Clotheslines. Knox reversed an Irish Whip, but missed the Splash. Finlay hit the Dropkick off the middle rope and then planted Knox with a Kenton Splash. Swagger made the save. Tommy ran across the ring and attacked Swagger. While the ref was turned to tend to Tommy, Hornswoggle hit the Tadpole Splash onto Knox. Finlay picked up the shillelagh and cleaned Knox’s clock with it.

Grade: B
Jay’s Thoughts: Again, Swagger was all but ignored in this battle. Knox was a good foil for both Finlay and Dreamer. I was even slightly amused by the Tadpole Splash by Hornswoggle. Knox deserves a decent push, but having him lose was a good move. If Knox continued to destroy Finlay and Tommy, their feuds would just fizzle. This match added fire to all the various feuds involved. Good booking on this one. It would have been an A level match if Swagger would have gotten a bit more ring time to make the match more even.

Tommy danced with the Finlays. Todd Grisham said that ECW was celebrating the 21 days of Halloween. Tiffany was dressed as a little devil. Jamie Noble showed up looking for candy or “other treats”. Jamie said that he was dressed as “the greatest wrestler of all time”. Tiffany, playing the “dumb blonde” role to a T said “you’re dressed as Shawn Michaels”.

Jamie tried to flirt with Tiffany but Mark Henry interrupted the scene. Mark told Jamie that there “grown folk business” to handle. Jamie got uppity with Mark Henry and said not to disrespect him. Tiffany egged Jamie on. Mark said that he wanted to feast on Matt Hardy, but he’d take Jamie Noble for an appetizer. Jamie told Teddy Long to “make it happen”. Jamie told Mark that no one disrespects Jamie Noble.

They ran a creepy promo for the return of The Boogeyman. The promo was very similar to the original “Horror Movie” vignettes. ECW went to break.

ECW ran a promo for this Friday’s Smackdown. It was the highest ranked show, ever, on MyNetworkTV. Striker and Grisham talked about the upcoming Cyber Sunday.

Mark Henry and Tony Atlas lumbered to the ring for the expected squash match of the night. Mark is nursing a hurt knee, right now. His opponent was “Pitbull” Jamie Noble.

Mark Henry d Jamie Noble

Jamie actually faired much better than most people expected. Jamie focused most of his attack on the injured knee of Mark Henry. The end came rather quickly. Mark set Jamie on the turnbuckle. Jamie fought back and stunned Mark with punches and a kick. Jamie went for a Crossbody off the ropes, but Mark converted it into The World’s Strongest Slam to claim victory.

Grade: B

After the match:

Mark picked up Jamie for two more W-S-Ss. Matt Hardy rushed out to stoop the brutality. Hardy tore into Mark and then turned and hit the Twist of Fate on Tony Atlas. Hardy turned back to Mark, who lifted him up and hit a World’s Strongest Slam on the ECW Champ. Mark then hit a Big Splash onto Matt. Mark then hit a second Splash onto Matt.Mark stepped out of the ring and looked back at the devastation that he caused. He checked on his mentor, Tony Atlas.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m still a fan of Mark Henry, though he’s slipping quickly in my opinion. Maybe it’s his showings in the last few weeks. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t dumped Tony Atlas (who is my least favorite wrestler in the history of wrestling). Whatever the reason, Mark is sliding quickly backwards to his mid-card/curtain puller status. That’s a true shame.

Jamie is really starting to be fun to watch, again. He reminds me so much of the late Crash Holly. The Pitbull is a perfect nickname for him. I have a Pitbull named Molly and while she is a sweet, somewhat goofy pup, she can become vicious if someone she doesn’t know dares to knock on our door. Jamie is the same, goofy until crossed. Matt showing u was not all that surprising. it just wa a chance to make Mark look a bit more dangerous.

ECW ran the Raw Rebound. Tonight’s episode dealt with the Jericho/Batista situation from last night. Jericho was acting GM for most of the night. Jericho was attacked by Batista. Jericho then set Batista to battle JBL for the number one contertender’s position. Jericho stacked the deck by having William Regal and Randy Orton at ringside. Regal got involved, several times. Batista took out Jericho and JBL with a Double Spear. Batista hit the Spinebuster and Batista Bomb to take out JBL, after Adamle arrived and sent a fresh ref to the ring. Adamle set up a special guest ref situation for Cyber Sunday. The fans get to vote between: Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Grisham and Striker gave details about how to text to. Striker did a great imitation of Steve Austin to signal who he was voting for.

ECW re-ran the demolition of Jamie Noble and Matt Hardy by Mark Henry. C.M. Punk returned to his old home, ECW, for the next battle. It was set to be an 8-man match. His first partner was Evan “Air” Bourne. Their next partner was the towel-waving, Carlito-hair wearing, Ricky Ortiz. The final face was the Jamaican Sensation, Kofi Kingston. ECW went to break before the heels were introduced.

The Extreme Rewind was last night’s match between Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston. DiBiase finished off Kofi with his Priceless finisher (Shinu-Numaki Sleeper into a Side Russian Leg Sweep). C.M. Punk and Cody Rhodes also got involved in the fray.

The screaming guitar heralded the arrival of the Dirt Sheeters, Miz and John Morrison. The were joined by Simply Priceless aka Legacy, Inc. (Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes w/Manu).

Miz, John Morrison, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase d C.M. Punk, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston & Ricky Ortiz.
8-Man Tag match

The match was a showcase for all eight men. Everyone got a chance to show off their talents. Evan Bourne was highlighted brighter than the other seven. The match bridged two segments on the show. The ending came as a bit of a surprise.

Punk went for the G-T-S, but Manu crawled onto the apron. Punk turned to knock the big Samoan off the apron. Punk was then attacked, from behind, by DiBiase. DiBiase caught Punk with an Inverted Hot Shot. Punk stumbled into the waiting arms of Morrison, who drilled him into the canvas with the Moonlight Drive.

Grade: A+

Jay’s Thoughts: It is very rare for me to give out this high a grade to a match. This one had it all: great action, twists, screw-job ending. All 8 men came out looking stronger than when they went in. Punk and Kofi had a great return-to-ECW experience, even though they lost. Evan Bourne’s star shined brighter than ever. The weaker members of the two teams were used sparingly (DiBiase & Ortiz). The strongest members carried the lion’s share. (Punk, Rhodes and Bourner). The other three helped to flesh out the match. If ECW could produce these kinds of matches every week, then their ratings could warrant a second hour.

Final Grade: A-

Final Thoughts: ECW was actually fun to watch, this week. The matches were fast and exciting. The backstage chatter was kept to a minimum. Thankfully, we were spared the Dirt Sheet. There were a few moves that i would have liked to see: The Emerald Fusion (Finlay) and the Shooting Star Press (Bourne). Even the missing moves didn’t diminish the outstanding performances. Kudos to Creatve and Booking for a job well done.

–Jay Shannon
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