Shannon: The ECW (9/23) Extreme Examination

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

HeadLocker: The ECW Extreme Examination for 9/23/2008

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

Jim Ross and Matt Striker welcomed the home audience to ECW. Todd Grisham is taking a leave to attend to some family issues. Jim showed a lot of class by praising Matt Striker for his educational background. Matt told JR that he felt honored to be next to a Hall of Famer. Matt Striker is my favorite announcer in the business, currently.

Miz and Morrison came to the ring. Miz grumbled about Ricky Ortiz costing him his match, last week. They ran the highlights of the match. Miz made fun of Ortiz’s hair and also suggested a “relationship” between Bourne and Ortiz. Morrison whined about having to “babysit the new kids”. Miz then went a little too far when he ranted on Teddy Long. Teddy came out and went off on the two for their disrespect. Teddy pushed the Superstar Initiative. Morrison went off on the failure of Braden Walker (Chris Harris). Teddy acknowledged that Walker was a “miss”. Teddy said that he would continue to bring in new talent and if Miz and Morrison didn’t like it, they could get to steppin’. Teddy said the Evan wasn’t at ECW, tonight.

Miz started to go off about the Initiative, until Ortiz came out and challenged. Miz and Morrison said that they could beat anyone. Teddy set them to face each other. Miz and Morrison tripped out when that was announced. The winner of the Miz v Morrison match would then immediately face Ricky Ortiz.

Jay’s Thoughts: The shot at Chris Harris was totally uncalled for. Miz and Morrison cut decent promos. Just please keep The Dirt Sheet off ECW TV.

After the break, JR talked about the brutality that Kane issued onto Evan Bourne on Raw. ECW ran the highlights of the butchery. Rey Mysterio came out to protect Bourne, only to get decimated by the Big Red Machine. Kane kept calling Rey a “coward”.

Teddy and Ricky Ortiz talked about the challenge. Tiffany came up and flirted with Ortiz. Ricky showed off his Rally Towel.

Dave “Fit” Finlay and Hornswoggle made their way to the ring. Finlay tossed a green bowler hat to the crowd. Bam Neely waltzed to the ring. Neely is from Robbinsdale, MN, the home of Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig and “Ravishing” Rick Rude. Chavo wasn’t at ECW because The Undertaker took out Chavo on Friday night.

Finlay d Bam Neely

This match was basically a chance to highlight Finlay’s toughness. Finlay hit Bombs Away on Bam to soften him up. Finlay went to the ropes but got trapped in a Boston Crab. Hornswoggle tried to slide the Shillelagh to Finlay. Bam saw it and grabbed the diminutive Leprechan. Bam tossed Hornswoggle aside. While the ref checked on Hornswoggle, Finlay blasted Bam between the eyes with the Shillelagh. Finlay pinned the knocked out Bam.

Grade: B

Jay’s Thoughts: Finlay is such a great worker. He should be wearing the ECW title, but he does his best to push the young kids. Even when he wins, Finlay makes his opponent look good. I can’t wait until Dave Finlay III (Finlay’s real son) starts his career. He’s still about 3 years out, but he will become one of the most successful stars ever, if he’s anything like his dad. As far as Bam, well he is just another Snitsky. He fleshes out the card, but he will likely never climb above mid-card. That’s not always a bad thing.

A couple of kids joined the Finlays in the ring to run around and play. ECW then went to a promo for the Ladder Match between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho.

It was time for another WWE Classics 24/7 segment. March 23, 1992 was the time. Madison Square Garden was the site. Sid Justice and Ric Flair joined forces to battle Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper. Hogan ended up pinning Flair after a Clothesline.

Programming Note: ECW moves to it’s new time, one hour earlier. next week.

Maryse came out for the next match. Matt Striker was highly impressed with the Canadian beauty. Her opponent was the Divas champion, Michelle McCool.
Maryse d Michelle McCool
Non-Title Divas Match

Maryse threw her robe at Michelle, who responded by Spearing Maryse. The two women rolled around and punched at each other. Michelle hit another Spear. Maryse caught McCool with a boot to the face. McCool came back with a kick. The two women fought on the floor as Matt Striker and Jim Ross talked about great French-Canadian stars. Maryse caught McCool with a Roll-up into a Camel Clutch. McCool fought to her feet and used her backside to bump free. Maryse hit several kicks on McCool in the corner. McCool came back with a One-Footed Dropkick and a Side Blockbuster. Maryse reversed an Irish Whip but ate a boot. Maryse threw McCool off the ropes. Maryse hit an amazing DDT that had more torque than just about any version that I’ve seen. Maryse got the surprise pin.

Grade: D

Jay’s Thoughts: I really can’t warm up to the Smackdown Divas. Michelle McTaker is just not in the same class as Lita, Wendi Richter, Trish Stratus, Beth Phoenix or any of the other great female stars. I was seriously unhappy that ECW stars got ignored so that these two could waste ECW limited air time.

Striker and JR ran down the upcoming No Mercy PPV. Mark Henry came out just after his match against Matt Hardy was profiled. Mark grumbled that Matt never pinned him for the title. Mark said that Matt would never be able to pin him. Mark talked about being the World’s Strongest Champion. Mark and Tony Atlas then left.

Mike Knox came out for the next match. His opponent was Chase Stevens. Mike stormed the ring and looked at his opponent.

Mike Knox d Chase Stevens

Mike and Chase locked up in the standard Collar and Elbow. Knox moved Chase to the corner. He shoved Chase, who came back with several hard kicks and fists. Knox shoved Chase into the ropes and then caught him with a Bicycle Kick. Knox Power Whipped Chase into the corner and then hit a Big Splash. Knox Bodyslammed Chase and hit a Running Knee Drop. Knox lifted him and punched him. Knox hit the Short-arm Clothesline. JR said that Knox would be the ECW Champion before the end of the year. Knox finished off Chase Stevens with the Knox U Out (Spinning Faceplant).

Grade: B

Jay’s Thoughts: Mike Knox is quickly becoming one of my favorite new kids. His similarities to Bruiser Brody and The Berserker are uncanny. I’d really like to see ECW/WWE expand his character. Turn him into a Lumberjack or some other Roughneck. Chase Stevens is quickly getting lost in the WWE. He should head back to TNA.

Jack Swagger walked past Mike Knox. Jack had a smile on his face as he passed Mike. Swagger picked up Chase and hit the Doctor Bomb. Tommy Dreamer rushed out to check on Chase. Mike Knox distracted Tommy, which allowed Swagger to catch Tommy with the Doctor/Thunder Bomb.

Miz and Morrison walked backstage. They were set to battle…next.

ECW went to the Smackdown Rebound. It focused on Vladimir Kozlov’s desire to find a challenge. He attacked both Jeff Hardy and Triple H over the past couple of weeks. Kozlov Headbutted the chest of Triple H to take The Game down.

The Miz made his entrance to a lukewarm reception from the hometown crowd. Striker ridiculed the hat that Miz was searing. Morrison then came in for his Slo-Mo Intro.

John Morrison v The Miz (Double Count-Out)
Winner Faces Ricky Ortiz

This was a fantastic match that really highlighted both men. They hit most of their major moves, including the Jumping Enziguri by Morrison and the Full Body Clothesline by Miz. The end came when both men fought on the ropes. Morrison caused himself and Miz to fall into the ring. Both men hit hard and were stunned. The ref counted to ten, thus the match ended without a true winner.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: This match would have gotten an A+ grade, if there had been a winner. The cheap double count-out finish lessened the match, but only slightly. Miz and Morrison are often over-looked by the critics. Both men should receive bigger pushes. I’d split the team and put one on Raw, the other on Smackdown. It worked for “The” Brian Kendrick.

Ricky Ortiz then rushed the ring and hit The Big O on Miz. Ortiz then Kipped Up took down Morrison with a Flying Shoulder Block.Ortiz then came off the ropes and hit the Big O on Morrison. Ortiz then hit the floor and brought out the Rally Towels. ECW faded out as Ricky got kissed by a pretty girl.

Final Grade: B-

Jay’s Final Thoughts: ECW slipped, big time, this week. The Divas match might have been eye candy for the crowd, but those two are just too limited in their talent to warrant such pushes. The Swagger/Knox/Dreamer/Stevens match should have received the air time that the BMOTN (Bimbo Match of the Night) got. Matt Hardy got the night off. With so little air time, Matt should be there every week to keep him in the spotlight.

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(9/24/2008)