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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

The ECW Extreme Examination for 11/4/2008

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, looks at all the action and adventure for this week’s Tuesday Night Delight, ECW.

Tonight’s ECW found a new challenger for Matt Hardy‘s ECW title. It also took the Tommy Dreamer/Jack Swagger feud to a new level. Let’s take a look at all the fun and excitement for the Election Night edition of ECW.

Matt Striker and Todd Grisham welcomed the home crowd to the show. Matt Hardy ramped up the crowd with his arrival. The ECW Champ was scheduled to fight in a non-title match against Bam Neely.Bam is from Robbinsdale, MN (home of Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig).

Matt Hardy d Bam Neely
Non-title match

Matt hit a Back Elbow and went for the Crossbody. Bam caught Matt and hit a Bossman slam. Matt Floated Over the Suplex and nailed the Hangman’s Neckbreaker. Bam fell into the ropes and Matt hit the Running Boot. Matt went to the roes and hit the Elbow Drop off the ropes. Matt hit the Side Effect. Bam ran Matt to the corner but ate a boot. Matt hit the Tornado DDT off the middle rope. Matt went to the ropes but got caught. Bam hit a Superplex that rattled Matt’s spine. Bam went to Bum Rush Matt into the corner, but the ECW Champ flipped out of the move and nailed the Twist of Fate.

Grade: B
Jay’s Thoughts: I feel sorry for Bam. He’s the 2008 version of TheWarlord. He’s got all the skills and power to be a major force in the industry. Sadly, he’s being used as cannon fodder for pushing others. Bam was allowed to look good in this match. He would be so much more suited fighting over on TNA, where he might get some respect and a decent push.

Matt looked good, as usual. He’s getting the biggest push of his long and storied career. I’m glad to see that happen. He’s the good brother who has kept himself out of trouble and showed a great work ethic. I hope to see Matt ride the championship wave for quite awhile. I’d like to see him keep it until Evan Bourne returns from his injury.

Finlay and Hornswoggle danced out onto the ramp. The Irish father and son had something to say to Matt Hardy. They would get their chance, after a quick break.

Finlay congratulated Matt on his win. Finlay said that Matt has yet to battle Finlay for the title. Finlay then challenged Matt. Matt started to accept, but Mark Henry came out to stop the acceptance. Mark said that he deserved the title shot. Finlay said that no one wanted to see Mark get another shot. Matt and Finlay made fun of the 4 votes that Mark Henry got at Cyber Sunday. Mark offered to fight Finlay after insulting Hornswoggle.

Teddy Long came out to keep everyone apart. Long said that Hardy would battle either Mark Henry or Finlay, next week. Henry and Finlay would battle in the main event. Tony didn’t look happy about the idea. Finlay was all smiles. ECW then ran Boogeyman promo that reminded me of the old Freddy Krueger movies.

ECW worked in TNA Country tonight, Orlando, Fl. Grisham and Striker talked about the new Raw v Smackdown video game.

Ricky Ortiz came out with his Rally Towel flying. Ortiz was handed Jon Davis to squash. Davis was trained by Dory Funk, Jr.

Ricky Ortiz d Jon Davis

Ricky hit a big Dropkick but missed a run in the corner. Ortiz hit a version of the Jackhammer Suplex. Ortiz hit a Flying Shoulder off the middle rope. Ortiz finished the match with the Big O Splash.

Grade: C
Jay’s Thoughts: I don’t know why, but I just do not care for Ortiz. He reminds me of a lot of the 80s and 90s flashes-in-the-pain that would show up, get a push, and then evaporate into oblivion. Ortiz is like Mantaur, Kwang, Zeus, Duke “The Dumpster” Drosse, etc… that had their 15 minutes (or less). Ortiz will have a decent run in ECW, and perhaps Smackdown or Raw, but will eventually fade out of existence without really making much of an impact.

Striker and Grisham talked about the right ankle injury of Evan Bourne. Bourne will be on the shelf for at least 4 months, longer if he requires surgery.

Jack Swagger strolled to the ring with that Osmonds-esque grin just a-shining. Jack defeated Tommy Dreamer, last week. There was a table in the ring with all kinds of “toys” on it. Jack made fun of Tommy’s bragging about having a 19-year career. Jack wanted to look at what Tommy had actually done. Jack talked about “a drunk named Sandman” beating him with the Singapore Cane. Jack had a cane to use as a visual aid. jack then showed off the original ECW title belt. Jack called the belt and Tommy “old”. Jack laughed at the length of Tommy’s reign. Jack threw the belt in a garbage can. Jack then went a little too far when he showed of a picture of Beulah McGilliculty, Tommy’s wife. jack talked about Tommy’s twin daughters. Jack talked to Beulah, through the screen. Jack accused Tommy of being a failure. He also said Beulah married a failure and their kids would most likely be failures. Jack said that he would allow Beulah and the kids look up to him.

Tommy hit the ring at full speed. He blith-whapped Jack in the back with the Singapore Cane. Jack fell between the ropes and stayed on the floor. Tommy looked ready for war. Swagger v Dreamer in a Singapore Cane Match? Give them time at Survivor Series. I could see Creative making it a true Survivor match. If Tommy loses, he has to retire. If Tommy wins, he gets another shot at the ECW title. Just a little armchair booking on my part.

Grade: A-
Jay’s Thoughts: This was some good old-fashioned trash talking. Swagger might yet have a good future with the WWE. He has the Pretty Boy look that helps push his heel character. His finisher is impressive. Unlike Colin Delaney (remember him?), Jack will be able to put up a respectable fight against the Hardcore Legend, Tommy Dreamer.

Tommy is getting a chance to shine, again. It’s absolutely no secret to anyone who knows me, Tommy Dreamer is the wrestler that I respect more than any other. No disrespect to any other wrestler, but Tommy has the greatest respect for the business and for the other talent. He will sacrifice his own career momentum to help push the young talent. He and the Undertaker are the two men that all young talent should look up to as role models.

Grisham sent it to the Raw Rebound. It was a look back at the Steel Cage match between Chris Jericho and Batista. Both men put on a clinic of how to work the cage. There were numerous close calls. Jericho went after the leg of Batista to keep him from climbing out of the cage. Jericho ripped a steel ring off one of the cables and smacked Batista in the skull. That allowed Jericho to escape the cage and regain the World title. Jericho will now face John Cena at Survivor Series for the World title.

Finlay and Hornswoggle entered for the main event. They threw souvenirs out to the crowd as the Irish jig music blared. The mood changed completely when Mark Henry and Tony Atlas showed up. Mark stomped down the ramp with bad intentions on his mind.

Finlay d Mark Henry,/b>
Number One Contender Match
The battle was brutal with everyone getting involved. Finlay took out Tony Atlas with a Clothesline on the floor. Hornswoggle hit a Crossbody onto Mark, with minimal effect. Mark chased after Hornswoggle . Henry sent Finlay into the steel post and then rolled both Finlay and Hornswoggle into the ring. Henry tried to hit a Splash on Finlay, but the Belfast Brawler moved. The ref tried to get Hornswoggle out of the ring. The distraction allowed Finlay to crack Mark in the skull with the shillelagh. The ref counted the pin and gave the Number One contendership to (Dave “Fit”) Finlay.

Grade: B+
Jay’s Thoughts: Both men looked good in the match. The ending was rather sloppy. Finlay will not win the ECW strap from Matt. I’m expecting Mark Henry to derail Finlay’s quest for the gold. Henry and Finlay will likely feud to try and become the top contender. Matt will likely move on to battle others within ECW. He doesn’t have a lot of people to battle, but he won’t lose the belt for awhile. Finlay deserves the title, as does Mark Henry. I don’t expect to see them wearing it in 2008.

The Finlays danced around the ring as ECW faded into Scare Tactics. Finlay will battle Matt Hardy for the ECW title, next week.

Final Grade: B
Jay’s Thoughts: The show just seemed to lack something, tonight. The matches seemed somewhat robotic. The Swagger promo was the highlight of the night, in my opinion. The Ortiz match was a complete waste of time. The so-called Main Event was so predictable as to be rather boring. I guess the whole talent acquisition storyline has been halted. ECW is seriously stale. They need to do something big, soon. If they don’t, the next stop is the Heat spot on WWE.com.

— Jay Shannon
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