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ECW: Extreme Examination for 8/12

Our resident ring philosopher reports on all the highlights and sidelights of the 8/12 ECW card — and some probing analysis of what went on Tuesday night.

Todd Grisham and Matt Striker were in the announce booth, yet again. Tazz is still filling in for Mick Foley over on Smackdown. I do like this young announce team. Plus, Tazz and JR mesh well together.

The Hardcore Legend and the Heart and Soul of ECW, Tommy Dreamer came from the back with the Raven Cart o’ Doom. It was filled to over-flowing with all kinds of “toys”. Tommy got the chance to take on his former student, Colin Delaney, in an Extreme Rules Match. Dreamer looked ready for war as Colin strolle dout from the back. Colin had that “Deer in the Headlights” look as he approached the ring.

Tommy Dreamer d Colin Delaney
Extreme Rules Match

The match went back and forth with Colin putting up a decent fight against his mentor. The end came after Colin was locked in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Tommy hit the Hesitation Dropkick, sending a trash can into Colin’s face. Colin tried to come back with a Guillotine Leg Drop with a Stop Sign under his leg. Colin missed the Leg Drop. Tommy used a kendo stick to hit a Reverse Pumphandle Slam. Tommy finished off Colin with his D(reamer)DT on a metal Stop Sign.

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: With the loss of Nunzio, Tommy is just about the only ECW Original left on ECW. Stevie Richards and Super Crazy are on Smackdown. It’s nice to see Tommy get a chance to shine. I’d like to see Tommy have another run as the ECW champ, but I don’t know if WWE will go there.

Lena talked with The Miz and John Morrison. Morrison absorbed what he saw as the adoration from the fans. Lena sent it to a review of last week’s Dirt Sheet. I trashed the segment, last week, so I won’t do it again. It did lead to tonight’s Main Event. Miz and Morrison would face Matt Hardy and Mark Henry in the main event. Lena asked Miz and Morrison on their thoughts about the match. Morrison called himself and Miz “the greatest tag team”. Miz told Mark and Matt to “Be Jealous”.

The Smackdown Rebound was next. It was another look at the destruction of La Familia…by Edge. Edge made it look like The Undertaker did the dirty deeds. Edge took Vickie and Chavo to the ring and then attacked Chavo with chairs. Chavo was taken out with a Con-Chair-To. Edge then tipped over the wheelchair of Vickie and screamed at her.

Evan Bourne d Bam Neely

Bam was still suffering from his attack by Edge from last week. Bam used a lot of power moves to make the match decent. Evan wrestled circles around Bam. Evan finished things off with the Shooting Star Press.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: It’s a shame that C.M. Punk and Kofi Kingston were moved to Raw. Evan really needs someone his own size to really shine. He will do well against the larger men, but a battle between Evan and Punk take forever to recap because of the speed and complex moves. My only negative comment about the announcing came from this match. Grisham and Striker talked about some of the Talent Initiative people showing up and never being seen again. I felt that was just a touch nasty. I look forward to see who comes in next to battle Evan. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Teddy talked with Tiffany. Armando Estrada came up and taunted Teddy with his new contract. Estrada demanded that Teddy sign his contract. Teddy signed the contract and then gave him some champagne. Teddy said that Armando would have his first official match as an ECW Superstar. Armando was thrilled until he learned that he would battle…Finlay. That match was set to happen, next.

Finlay d Armando Estrada

Armando put up a good fight but he was so out-classed in this match. Mike Knox came out to watch the match. Once Finlay saw Knox, he stepped it up in the ring. Finlay hit a Running Clothesline and Kenton to soften up the Cuban. Finlay finished off Armando with the Celtic Cross, which seemed to be renamed Emerald Fusion.

Grade: B

Finlay urged Knox to bring it to the ring. Knox turned and left. Finlay and Hornswoggle brought a small child into the ring and they all danced around to celebrate the win.

Jay’s Thoughts: The Finlay/Knox feud will really help push Mike Knox to the next level. I expect Knox to take out Hornswoggle to further push the family angle. Finlay will likely end up the winner of the feud but their battles will be brutal. That’s what ECW needs.

Teddy and Tiffany talked about he champagne as Ricky Ortiz knocked on the door. Ortiz was trying to pitch a new towel that should be marketed. Ortiz wanted Teddy to invest in 50,000 of the O-Towels. Teddy told Ortiz that he would face a new superstar, next week.

Jay’s Thoughts: I’ve looked over the FCW roster to try and figure out who WWE will bring up next. The top contenders would have to be: Afa, Jr., Charles Evans, Sinn Bowdie, Joe Hennig (yes, Curt’s son) or Heath Miller). Other than Afa and Joe, the FCW talent will probably under-go identity changes. I’d like to see Evans v Mark Henry. That match could rival anything that Raw or Smackdown could throw at the fans.

The WWE Slam of the Week was up next. It was the whole meltdown with Batista and Cena, after they lost the tag titles. It took a ton of security to try and keep them apart. They failed. Matt and Todd ran down the Summerslam card. I’ve already got my DVR set for the match.

Matt and Mark talked backstage. Matt was worried about trusting Mark. Mark wasn’t thrilled about teaming with Matt, either. Mark wanted Matt to “get in his way” so he could go through Matt. The main event was next.

The Miz was first out for the main event. He was joined by The Shaman of Sexy, John Morrison. Matt made fun of Miz’s hat, asking if it came in a men’s version. Mark Henry was joined by his mentor, Tony Atlas. Matt Hardy was the final member of the party to arrive. He got the biggest pop of the night.

Mark Henry & Matt Hardy d The Miz and John Morrison

Mark and Matt worked well together in this match. Mark used his power to dominate the former tag champs. Matt ended the match with a Side Effect off the middle rope. Mark had wanted a tag but Matt took the pin.

Grade: A-
Jay’s thoughts: This match was done the way that the Batista/Cena v Rhodes/DiBiase match should have been done on Raw. Mark and Matt stayed on task and beat the long-time champs. The aftermath of the match was absolutely perfect to push the feud.

Mark looked confused at the pin. Mark got in the ring and stared down at Miz nad Morrison. Mark hit a Big Boot to Miz’s face. Mark threw Miz out of the ring. Mark held his ECW title as his music played. Mark and Matt stared at each other. Mark walked over and grabbed Matt’s hand and lifted it in victory. Mark then nailed The World’s Strongest Slam on the ECW title belt. Mark left the ring, cackling like a mad scientist on the late night horror movie.

Final Grade: A-

Jay Thoughts: This was a better-than-average episode of ECW. The house cleaning by WWE may have actually helped ECW. I hated to see Nunzio leave. I hope he shows up on TNA and runs rampant in the X-Division as Guido. I look forward to next week’s episode to see who’s coming in. It has that waiting for Christmas morning to rip open your packages feel to it.

Remember, Summerslam is this Sunday. I’ll be back, later in the week, with my predictions for the Summer Classic.

–Jay Shannon
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