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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

My ECW Extreme Examination for 9/30/2008

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, evaluates the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW.

ECW kicked off at it’s new time. This change is permanent. Todd Grisham returned to join Matt Striker as the best announce team on the scene today.

Tiffany was in the ring to introduced Teddy Long and Matt Hardy to the live and home audiences. Matt came to the ring, actually wearing his title belt. After Matt soaked in the crowd’s adoration, Tiffany introduced Mark Henry and Tony Atlas.

Teddy talked about the match between Matt and Mark on Sunday. Teddy wanted to give both men a chance to speak. Mark told Matt “you have a bad week ahead of you”. Mark promo’d the Triple Threat champions match on Smackdown. Mark said that if he was still the ECW champ, he would destroy Jericho and Triple H. He said Matt would embarrass himself and ECW. Matt retorted that he would do just fine. Mark grumbled about not being pinned to lose his title. Matt acknowledge the big week ahead of him. He was stopped by a “Har-dy Har-dy” chant. Matt talked about representing the fans and wrestlers of ECW.

Matt got a shot in on Tony Atlas for “selling out”. Matt said that he would prove things to Mark at No Mercy. Mark challenged Matt to start No Mercy, now. Teddy kept the two men apart.

The music of John Morrison ripped through the arena. Morrison and Miz challenged Evan Bourne and Ricky Ortiz. Morrison and Miz did their best Stan and Ogre impression as they chanted “Nerds”, in reference to Bourne and Ortiz. Teddy made the main event a 6-man battle: Miz, Morrison and Mark Henry v Bourne, Ortiz and Matt Hardy. ECW went to break.

Jay’s Thoughts: The best thing about that segment is that they kept the mic away from Tony Atlas. Atlas reminds me of Porky from the Little Rascals when he mumbles. No, it wasn’t Buckwheat that had the speech problem. The main event looked to be a high-speed festival that would be bogged down by the Frankensteinian lumber of Mark Henry.

ECW ran a promo for the MyNetwork debuts of WWE. The Thursday show, which was originally promo’d as the broadcast debut of Wrestlemania 24 has been changed to a highlight show of past Wrestlemanias. I have to wonder if the Vice-Presidential Debate had anything to do with the change.

Jack Swagger, the All-American American, waltzed from the back to a chorus of cat-calls and boos. His opponent was Lenny Lane. Striker compared Lenny to one of my all-time favorites, Buck “Rock and Roll” Zumhofe.

Jack Swagger d Lenny Lane

The two men locked up and Swagger dropped down and used a Back Heel Trip to send Lane to the mat. Jack shoved Lane to the mat. Jack used an amateur lift to take Lane to the mat. Jack then punished Lane with a Gut Wrench into a Gut Buster. Jack stomped on the stomach of Lane. Lane fought back with fists and kicks. Jack rebounded with a kick of his own and then hit the Mr. Wrestling II Kneelift off the ropes. Jack hit his Gut Wrench Powerbomb to end Lane’s night.

Grade: C
Jay’s Thoughts: Swagger is missing the ball with his character. If he’s going to do the All-American bit, then he needs to break out the Letterman sweater and the patriotic outfit. Coming out in generic black trunks kills his momentum. And what’s with those teeth?

Jack caught Lane as he went to leave. He nailed a Neckbreaker off the ropes. That brought Tommy Dreamer rushing to the ring to protect the ex-WCWer. Tommy stood over Lenny Lane as Jack Swagger strolled back up the ramp. Tommy would fight in the next segment.

Grisham and Striker ran down the week’s WWE events. Reminder, if you have a DVR or Tivo, you may have to reset them to find the new home for Smackdown.

Mike Knox stormed to the ring. Knox had a serious “Killer” Tim Brooks look to him, this week. Knox had the kind of sour look on his face that my grandfather would have described as “that boy was weaned on a pickle”.

Mike Knox d Tommy Dreamer

This match went back and forth with Tommy showing well against the Bearded Behemoth. The end came when Tommy missed a charge and slid into ring post. Knox pulled Tommy out and nailed the Knox U Out to take the win.

Grade: B
Jay’s Thoughts: Tommy can make anyone look good, even Knox. Like Swagger, Knox is not quite on task for his character. Knox needs to either go the Bruiser Brody direction or turn into a Lumberjack

Jack Swagger strolled back to the ring and attacked a defenseless Tommy. He nailed the Gut Wrench Powerbomb on Tommy. Jack grinned sheepishly over his victim and then left the ring.

Todd Grisham then promo’d the Wrestlemania special on Thursday. He said that it would be showing Wrestlemania 24. I guess we’ll all have to tune in to see if it’s WM24 or a highlight show. It is only scheduled to run one hour. That led to a rundown of the No Mercy card. It looks to be a decent set of matches. Sadly, Smackdown is actually going to be better than No Mercy, in my opinion.

Miz and Morrison made their entrances for the main event. ECW passed on the Slow-Mo Intro, this week. ECW took a break before the main event.

Mark Henry and Tony Atlas arrived for the battle, as the show returned. Evan Bourne was next to arrive for the fight. The crowd loves this kid. he waited at ringside up his partners joined him. Ricky Ortiz came out with his Ricky-o-Rally Towel waving. The final combatant was the ECW champ, Matt Hardy.

The Miz, John Morrison and Mark Henry d Ricky Ortiz, Evan Bourne and Matt Hardy
Six-Man tag team match
The match ran across two segments, running close to half the show. Miz, Morrison, Bourne and Ortiz worked 95% of the match. ECW must have wanted to avoid injuries to their two top guys. The ending was a mosh pit where everyone hit the ring. Ortiz and Miz went to the floor, after Miz knocked Hardy off the apron. Morrison tagged out to Mark Henry. Bourne threw a few kicks at Mark to try and chop down the Oak Tree. Mark shoved Bourne into the ropes and lifted him for a monster World’s Strongest Slam.

Grade: B
Jay’s Thoughts: This match should have been an A+ level match, but it just didn’t work. Mark and Matt barely stepped in the match. The frequent tags only served to make me dizzy. The match actually ran too long. Bourne was the stand-out star for this match. It was sad that he ended up being the one doing the job to Mark Henry. Henry’s slipping, big time, in his ring work. Considering that this is the super-week for the WWE, tonight’s show was just flat.

Final Grade: B

–Jay Shannon
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