Shannon: The ECW Extreme Examination

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

The ECW Extreme Examination for 8/26/2008

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

After the titles ran, ECW went straight to the best announce team in WWE, right now, Todd Grisham and Matt Striker.

Tiffany came out and introduced Theodore “Teddy” Long. They danced on the ramp. Long announced that ECW would also be doing a Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. Long set a series of qualifying matches to find opponents for Mark Henry.

Matt Hardy brought the crowd to their feet when his music cut loose. Matt’s opponent was The Shaman of Sexy, John Morrison. Striker called Morrison Jo-Mo.

Matt Hardy d John Morrison
Championship Scramble Qualifying Match

The match really highlighted the talents of both men. There were several close calls as each man hit multiple high-impact moves. The end came when Morrison went for his Moonlight Drive finisher. Matt was able to spin out of the move and nail the Twist of Fate to take the win and earn a spot in the Championship Scramble.

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: Morrison is so over-looked in the WWE. He is seen as almost a side-show attraction in the small group. He really could usea change. I’d like to see him square off against his former partner, The Miz. Matt, on the other hand, has received a lot ofattention. He’s a decent worker and deserves the push but I really wish WWE would reunite the Hardyz to help boost the tag division.

Teddy and Tiffany talked in the back. Mark Henry stormed in and went off on Teddy about putting him in the Championship Scramble. Tony Atlas did his best parrot imitation as Mark ranted. Mark said that it “wasn’t fair”. Teddy reminded him that “life’s not fair”. Teddy asked Mark if he felt that his title might change hands at the PPV.
The Raw Rebound, sponsored by WWE Mobile, was next. Adamle announced that John Cena was out with an neck injury. Cena’s surgery went well. I wanted to wish Cena a speedy recovery from this dramatic injury. We’ll miss you, John. Adamle announced that Rey Mysterio will step in to replace Cena in Raw’s Championship Scramble.

The Miz came to the ring for the next Championship Scramble Qualifying Match. Miz’s opponent was Evan Bourne.
The Miz d Evan Bourne
Championship Scramble Qualifying Match

Striker called Bourne “electroflying”.
Bourne and Miz really opened up on each other in this match. Bourne almost won the match with his Standing Moonsault. Miz went to the top rope and Bourne followed him up there. Bourne missed with a Hurancanrana and ended up straddling the top rope. Bourne tumbled into the ring and Miz hit the Reality Check to finish off the match and take the third spot in the Championship Scramble. As a side note, Miz also ended the winning streak of Evan Bourne.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: I’ve almost gotten used to Evan Bourne’s new identity. He is this year’s C.M. Punk/Kofi Kingston. Unless he gets injured, Bourne will likely end up reaching a level near that of Bret Hart within 3 to 4 years. I hated The Miz when he first came to WWE. I’ve changed my mind. I still hate the Dirt Sheet thing, but he is great in the ring. I think Miz should end up with the ECW strap. A feud between Miz and Morrison could really rev up the product.

Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely came out for the next Championship Scramble Qualifying Match. It’s looking like, other than Mark Henry, the Championship match at Unforgiven could be for the Extreme Cruiser Weight title. Mark dwarfs both Miz and Matt Hardy. Chavo’s opponent was the Hardcore Legend, the Heart and Soul of ECW, Tommy Dreamer.

Chavo Guerrero d Tommy Dreamer
Championship Scramble Qualifying Match
Tommy was in control for the majority of this match. He nailed an Oklahoma Stampede (Running Powerslam) on Chavo. He also locked him in the Sullivan Tree of Woe and hit the Hesitation Dropkick. The end came as the result of a distraction by Bam Neely. Bam hopped on the apron and Chavo shoved Tommy into Bam. Chavo then leaped over the ropes and pulled Tommy’s throat down across the top rope. Tommy fell to the mat. Chavo then nailed the Frog Splash to take the win and his spot in the Championship Scramble.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: Chavo deserves a chance to recover a little bit of respect from the fans after his horrible run as ECW champion. His eight second loss to Kane almost killed his career. Chavo has really struggled since that loss. Tommy has always played the role of making other’s look good at his expense. He is the wrestler that I respect most in the industry. He is a dedicated person that wants to present the best product possible. I would have liked to have seen Tommy go into the match but Chavo should do a good job in the Scramble.

Grisham sent it to Josh Matthews in Denver, Co. Josh was joined by Batista and Candice Michelle to talk about the WWE’s Smackdown the Vote!. Batista registered to vote, for the first time.

The final Championship Scramble match pitted Finlay v Mike Knox. Before that match, Striker ran down the rules for the Championship Scramble. Finlay was seconded by his “son”, Hornswoggle. ECW ran a video of the history between Knox and Finlay. Knox, looking more and more like the late Bruiser Brody, stormed the ring to start the match.

Finlay d Mike Knox
Championship Scramble Match

This match continued the feud between Knox and Finlay. Knox used power to try and take down the Irish superstar. Finlay came back with a mix of power and speed. The end came when Finlay tried for Emerald Fusion which used to be called the Celtic Cross. Knox got free and nailed a Big Boot to the face. Knox turned to untie the top turnbuckle. While the ref stopped him, Hornswoggle slid the shillelagh to his father. Finlay went to strike Knox with it. Knox booted the ribs of Finlay, who dropped his shillelagh. The ref thought Knox was using it and went to remove it from the ring. Hornswoggle slid another shillelagh to his Pop and Finlay popped Knox with it.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: I hate this feud. Knox is a great character but ECW is the wrong place for him. He needs to head to Smackdown or Raw to push the Berserker-like character. He was a great person to help get ECW started. He, like Punk and Kofi, deserves a promotion. He should be muscle for someone like Jericho or Santino. Finlay, on the other hand, is enjoying a nice second career in wrestling. Some younger fans don’t realize how many years that Finlay has been in the ring. He has faced so many stars over the years. I’d like to see him get at least one run as a top champ. I doubt he’ll get the WWE or World title, but the ECW title would be a good strap to wear.

The match was now set. Mark Henry will face Finlay, Chavo Guerrero, The Miz and Matt Hardy in the ECW Championship Scramble at Unforgiven.

Jay’s Final Thoughts: This was another top-notch ECW episode. ECW is really being given the chance to shine. ECW has a ridiculously small group of wrestlers. They are doing an amazing job, considering their limitations. I hope that ECW gets a few more of the FCWers over the next few weeks. My hope for ECW to expand seems to be finally on the way.

Final Grade: A-

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(8/27/2008)