HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
ECW: Extreme Examination for 8/5/2008
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, looks at The Tuesday (7/5) Night Delight, ECW.
Tonight’s show came from Hotlanta, Georgia. Matt Striker filled in for Tazz on tonight’s show.
Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely were first out for the opening battle. Evan Bourne and Ricky Ortiz came out to further their push.
Evan Bourne & Ricky Ortiz d Chavo Guerrero & Bam Neely
Striker really did a great job calling this match. The event went back and forth with all four men doing some great moves. Evan was the standout man in the match. Evan hit his alternate finisher, Evan Sent (a Flying Double Kneedrop/Thesz Press Combo off the top rope) onto Bam. Bam tried to come back with a Lariat, but Evan spun Bam around and rolled him up for the win.
Jay’s Thoughts: Evan (aka Matt Sydal) is possible the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the industry, today. He is really quick, agile and exciting to watch. Chavo is always a solid member of the roster. He’s gotten a lot of grief for losing at Wrestlemania. That’s sad. Chavo deserves more respect. Ortiz and Bam both leave me cold. Neither man seems comfortable in the ring, yet. Maybe with some experience they will come into their own. They may end up heading back to Florida, otherwise.
Striker showed real class by admitting his respect for Evan. Evan and Ortiz walked up the ramp as Chavo and Bam threw a fit in the ring. I’d like to see Striker taking a seat at the announce table, permanently. Maybe he could replace Mick Foley on Smackdown.
Striker and Todd Grisham promo’d The Dirt Sheet. It was set to debut, later in the evening. ECW then went for a promo for the Hell in a Cell match between Edge and Undertaker. It’s less than two weeks away and I’m ready.
The WWE Slam of the Week was next up. It profiled the match between Finlay/Hornswoggle & Miz/Morrison. Hornswoggle took a nasty Reverse Powerbomb from Morrison. After the match, Mike Knox attacked Finlay.
Mike Knox came out to diss Finlay. After a few minutes of ranting about Finlay turning soft, the Irishman and his diminutive son, Hornswoggle, strolled to the ring. I guess little Horny recovered from his bump from last week. Finlay urged Knox to Take Your Shot. Knox wimped out and left.
Jay’s Thoughts: This feud is completely useless. Finlay should be focused on Mark Henry or the tag belts. Finlay has nothing to gain with this feud. I can only assume that this is to push Mike Knox. I’m not sure if Knox deserves it.
ECW went straight to the Raw Rebound. It was the crowning of new tag team champions. Cena and Batista were seriously dysfunctional but Batista managed to take out Ted DiBiase (Jr.) to win the tag belts. I hate those make-shift teams. DiBiase and Rhodes deserved better.
Armando Estrada came out to take his final shot to win his WWE/ECW contract. He wouldn’t have an easy time of it, thanks to his opponent, Tommy Dreamer. The crowd seriously popped for Tommy.
Armando Estrada d Tommy Dreamer
Estrada had to win this match or he would be removed from ECW. Tommy basically demolished Estrada until Colin Delaney ran to ringside. Colin provided a major distraction that ended up costing Tommy the match.
Tommy was setting for his D(reamer)DT when Colin hopped on the apron. Tommy released Estrada and grabbed Colin. Tommy ran Colin into the steel ringpost. The distraction allowed Estrada to School Boy Tommy for the (not-so) surprising win.
Grade: B (Only rated that high because of Tommy’s performance)
Jay’s Thoughts: Much like The Undertaker, Tommy Dreamer can take just about anyone and have a good match with them. Estrada and Delaney have a long way to go to become decent wrestlers. I liked Estrada better as a manager. ECW needs people to fill out their roster, so I’m glad to see Estrada. I’m not thrilled with Colin. He reminds me of Chris Von Erich, someone who should have never entered the ring. I expect Delaney to disappear within a few months.
Matt Striker compared the Tommy/Colin situation to the Sammartino/Zbyszko feud from so many years ago. I didn’t think I’d ever hear Sammartino’s name mentioned in a WWE broadcast.
Estrada celebrated in the back. Colin congratulated him. Estrada wanted to know why Colin would help him. Colin said that Estrada gave him a chance to earn a contract, which is more than his mentor did for him. Teddy Long walked up and went off on Colin. He told Colin that he would battle Tommy Dreamer in an Extreme Rules match, next week.
Todd Grisham talked about the attack on Mick Foley, last week. That led to the Smackdown Rebound. Edge invited Foley into the ring and then battered him. Edge placed Foley on a table and then jumped off a ladder and drove a chair into Foley’s chest. Foley, the chair and Edge went through the table.
Todd and Striker then ran down Summerslam as it currently stood. The camera caught Braden Walker backstage. The former “Wildcat” was set to battle, next.
ECW re-ran the WWE Classics from last night. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin took out Sgt. Slaughter in 1997.
Braden Walker’s Southern Rock-esque entrance music brought the former Chris Harris to the ring. He was facing James Curtis. Striker mentioned that Curtis was trained by the former WWE star, Savio Vega.
Braden Walker d James Curtis
Walker really looked bad in this match. He should have destroyed James Curtis, but he struggled. Curtis hit some great moves but came up short. Walker bumbled his way through the match, finally catching Curtis with a Perfect-Plex after nailing a Flying Shoulder Block.
Jay’s Thoughts: I kept asking myself “When did Chris Harris forget how to wrestle?” Harris/Walker is so much better than the kid that I saw in the ring. Walker has abandoned his Catatonic finisher and seems lost without it. Walker is starting to look a lot like “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, only without the talent that Doc has. I’m not sure if WWE knows where they want to go with Walker, yet. I hope that they find something for Walker to do. Otherwise, Walker will drift into Mid-Card Hell. On ECW, that’s the worst possible place to be.
The show finished up with the debut of The Dirt Sheet It was just another lame remake of Piper’s Pit. Miz and Morrison are decent on the mic, but this segment had the crowd nodding off, both at home and in person. Miz and Morrison’s rip-off of Conan O’Brien was just sad. Their disrespect of Mark Henry, Tony Atlas and Matt Hardy was high-school quality comedy.
Mark Henry and Tony Atlas came out to put Miz and Morrison into their place. MnM then turned their so-called humor towards Matt Hardy. That brought Hardy to the ring. The interview segment broke down when Miz tried to attack Matt. Matt cleaned his clock. Morrison tried to attack Matt, only to accidently hit Mark Henry. Mark handed his ECW title to Tony Atlas and then destroyed Morrison. Mark and Matt stared each other down as the show faded to black.
Jay’s Thoughts: Those who have read my writings before know that Tony Atlas is one of my least favorite people in wrestling. I actually found myself cheering for Tony to wallop either Miz or Morrison. I only hope that The Dirt Sheet goes back to the official WWE web site, where I can ignore it in peace. I hate seeing the main event being replaced by filler fluff like that.
Final Grade: C-
Editor’s Note: Jay Shannon has reviewed ECW every week since the first show aired on Sci-Fi. He has been a fan of wrestling for over 35 years and has written online about wrestling for close to a decade. Jay appreciates and respects all comments from our readers.
— Jay Shannon