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Headlocker — Jay Shannon

The (2/3) ECW Extreme Examination!

Our resident philosoher, Jay Shannon, takes a slightly delayed look at the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW.

After a day of fighting with Java issues and other malfunctions, I’m ready to look at the action and backstory of Tuesday’s ECW. Sorry about the delay, friends.

The show opened with a look back at the theft of Jack Swagger’s ECW title, last week. Hornswoggle had scarfed it, to use it as a plaything. Jack got nasty at the idea of Hornswoggle having his belt. Jack shoved Hornswoggle to the mat when the dwarf went to return the belt. Finlay snapped and knocked out Swagger.

ECW came from St. Louis, MO. The main event was Finlay v Jack Swagger in a non-title bout.

Paul Burchill, along with Katie Lea, stomped his way to the ring. Paul’s opponent was the Heart and Soul of ECW, Tommy “Hardcore Legend'” Dreamer. Tommy was adorned in an ECW T-Shirt. Tommy has until June 6th to work his way up to the ECW title and win it. Tommy has sworn that if he doesn’t win the ECW strap by then, he’ll retire.

Paul Burchill d Tommy Dreamer

\The match went back and forth, with both men hitting big moves on the other. The ending was a bit of a disappointment to the fans.

Tommy caught Paul with a Sit-Out Spinebuster. Tommy locked Paul in the Sullivan Tree of Woe. Tommy got the crowd rockin’ with the “E-C-W” chant before hitting the Hesitation Dropkick. Paul crumpled to the mat, as Tommy struck the Raven Pose and cut loose with a Primal Scream. Tommy tried to lock in the D(reamer)DT but Paul dropped and sent Tommy crashing into the corner. Paul tried for the Roll-up but Tommy kicked out at two. Tommy hoisted Paul up for the Spicoli Driver but Paul was able to power out. Paul caught Tommy with his Leaping Hangman’s Neckbreaker to take the win.

Grade: A-
Jay’s Thoughts: ECW is setting Tommy up at the very lowest rung of the ladder. He’s going to have to battle all err…6 guys on his way to the ECW strap. This reminds me of some of the early wrestling video games. You had to start at the bottom and work your way up through various challenges. Tommy’s kind of the guy starting at the first match on WWE Raw for the PC.

Paul, on the other hand, is lost in mid-card Hell. Rather sad when the place you’re lost shouldn’t even have a mid-card area. ECW barely has enough people to fill their one hour spot and Paul’s about as far down the pecking order as possible. Paul needs a new gig. Bring back the Pirate. At least that character was amusing.

Teddy Long was strutting backstage when he ran across Jamie Noble. Noble wanted to save the show. Noble said ECW needed a big dog to replace Matt Hardy. Noble said he equaled ratings. Long accepted Noble as the newest member of the ECW roster.

As Todd Grisham and Matt Striker talked, Miz and John Morrison made their appearance. The tag champs had something to say…in the next segment.

Miz and Morrison made fun of Tommy Dreamer, who was still in the ring. Morrison started making fun of Tommy’s weight. Miz mocked Tommy’s crying. Tommy slowly walked up to the tag champs. As the tag champs continued to mock Tommy, Tommy said he still had what it took to be ECW champ. Morrison mentioned that Tommy doesn’t have the right look. Miz called Tommy “the anti-Ric Flair” and “Fatty Dreamer”. He said people were waiting for Tommy leave. Miz went too far when he insulted Tommy’s wife and kids. The tag champs went off on Tommy and mugged him. Miz hit the Reality Check on Dreamer. Miz screamed “Be Jealous”. Tommy was left lying in the ring.

Jay’s Thoughts:Somebody give Tommy RVD’s phone number. I’d so love to see Tommy bring in Mr. Monday Night to help him kick the daylights out of the tag champs. I’d actually rather see Tommy and Raven join forces, but that just not going to happen.

Jamie Noble was ready for his Baptism by Fire. What he got was the arrival of The Boogeyman. Jamie just didn’t look happy at the sight of Boogey slithering through the crimson and gold fog. Hulk Hogan, he ain’t. Boogey twitched and foamed at the mouth as he entered the ring.

Boogeyman d Jamie Noble

Jamie tried valiantly to overcome the massive size difference between himself and Boogeyman. Jamie did get a few decent moves in before Boogey decided to call it a night. Boogey hit a pair of Short-Arm Clotheslines. Boogey caught Jamie with a Flying Splash in the corner. Boogey finished off Jamie with the Pump Handle Slam.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: All hail the returning jobber! Yes, Noble’s back to being cannon fodder for the last wrestler to get a push from ECW. Expect the PitPuppy to get neutered by Ricky Ortiz, Finlay, D.J. Gabriel and any other FCW upgrades. I would normally say Jamie deserves better than this, but he doesn’t. He’s good at being the victim. He plays his part to the hilt.

Boogey just keeps on going. He’s really had no significant competition since he returned from his injury. I have to think that once Jack Swagger dispatches Finlay, Boogey’s next. Boogey will end up getting taken out by Swagger but their feud should be a good round of comedy for all to see.

After the match, Boogey retrieved his bag o’ worms. Jamie slid out of the ring to avoid the nightcrawlers (I’m not talking Kurt Wagner, here). Boogey gnawed away on the worms. Finlay and Hornswoggle did Push-ups in the back to warm up for the main event.

ECW re-ran the Wrestlemania Highlight segment for Wrestlemania 2. Still a favorite of mine. It was the good ol’ days when the WWF was at it’s peak. Hulk Hogan battled King Kong Bundy, who I watched get his start in the old World Class area. Mr. T got to box the Rowdy One. Piper used a Bodyslam on Mr. T. Mr. T won by DQ. The whole show was great.

ECW returned with a look at the Shane McMahon/Randy Orton situation. Shane will face Randy at No Way Out in a “No Holds Barred” match. Orton loved the idea of being able to do whatever he wanted with Shane. Legacy tried to jump Shane in the ring, but Shane had a kendo stick ready. He defended himself, valiantly. Later in the night, Legacy jumped the McMahons in the hallway. Orton went to Punt Shane and then decided to go after Stephanie, instead. Shane intercepted Orton’s Punt in the ribs. Orton wanted to Punt Stephanie in the head. Stephanie then talked with Kane about bringing The Undertaker to Raw to destroy Orton, next week.

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m just not getting into this whole Shane comes out for revenge angle. Shane and his dad have had some serious issues in the past. I’m thinking the rib shot is going to give Shane an “out”. Shane’s going in at less than 100%. Randy gets to trash Shane and then move on to Wrestlemania.

After Matt and Todd ran down the upcoming No Way Out card, they went to an interview with Jack Swagger. Jack was asked about his motivation. Jack said he was highly self-motivated. Jack was embarrassed, last week, when the Finlays disrupted his Championship Celebration. Jack said that striking him in the head with the title was the closest Finlay would ever get to the ECW title. ECW went to break.

Jack Swagger out onto the ramp and bounced around. The fans were somewhat hostile to the Oklahoman. Swagger ignored the crowd and held his title aloft as he entered the ring. That Lance Von Erich grin was shining. The grin vanished as Finlay and Hornswoggle came from the back. They threw toys to the crowd and then Hornswoggle was sent under the ring to wait until needed.

Finlay d Jack Swagger
Non-Title Match

The match was dominated by Finlay. Jack showed frustration, several times, during the match. The end came with help from Hornswogle. The diminutive sidekick came out from under the ring to distract Swagger. The distraction allowed Finlay to catch Jack with the Inverted Atomic Drop. Finlay then Clotheslined Jack over the ropes and to the floor. When Finlay went after Jack, on the floor, Jack lifted Finlay and ran the Irishman’s back into the ring apron. Jack sent Finlay into the steel ring post as the ref counted. Jack picked up the shillelagh and threw it up the ramp. Jack rolled Finlay back into the ring. The Belfast Brawler tried to Suplex Jack back into the ring, but the ECW Champ reversed the move and brought Finlay’s throat down across the top rope. As Jack went to re-enter the ring, Hornswoggle had another huge shillelagh (I actually thought it was a golf club) and he whacked Jack’s left ankle with it. Finlay caught Jack with a Running Clothesline. Finlay then lifted the ECW Champ up and finished him off with the Celtic Cross/Emerald Fusion. Jack Swagger’s win streak is over!

Grade: A+
Jay’s Thoughts: Finally, Finlay gets to win a match. Jack’s win streak comes to an end and sets up Finlay v Swagger at No Way Out. This match allowed both men to really show how talented they are. This match was really well booked. It actually makes me look forward to their battle at the next PPV. Since I ordered the Triple Play package (Royal Rumble, No Way Out, and Wrestlemania), I was hoping No Way Out wouldn’t be a throw-away PPV. With Swagger v Finlay, the groundwork is set for a solid series of matches.

Final Grade: A-
Final Thoughts: The WWE is really ramping up for the Spring season. ECW is no exception. Expect more than one ECW star to show up at Wrestlemania. The only bad thing is that ECW is either hot or cold. Next week’s show might be horrible. ECW really need to find a happpy medium. ECW needs more talent to make things better. Jamie Noble is a good addition but there are tons of kids down at FCW looking for the call-up. Use them. I’d rather pass for 2 to 3 weeks seeing a given star, if it would give me the chance to see someone new.

— Jay Shannon
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