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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (6/23) Extreme Exam
Our resident philosopher looks at all the ins and outs of the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW

ECW showcased all five men scheduled to be in the Championship Scramble at Sunday’s The Bash PPV. Also, an old favorite made a surprise return to save the day.

Evan “Air” Bourne opened the show. He still had taped ribs from various encounters with Mark Henry, over the past few weeks. Henry finally defeated Evan Bourne, last week. His opponent was a member of the Hart Dynasty, Tyson “Dynamite” Kidd (name credit to Striker). The entire Hart Dynasty came to the ring.

Evan “Air” Bourne d Tyson “Dynamite” Kidd

The Finish:

Kidd whipped Evan to the corner but missed the Splash. Evan came off the ropes with a variation of a Frog Splash to land on the back of the bent-over Kidd. Evan was in agony as Kidd graved him. Evan surprised Kidd with a Spin-Round Small Package for a two count. Evan blasted Kidd with a pair of Crescent Kicks. Evan sent Kidd to the ropes, where he held on. Kidd Backflipped over the ropes, kicking Evan in the face on the way through. Kidd went for a Springboard move but Evan ducked. Evan Hurancanrana’d Kidd to a roar from the crowd. Evan kicked Kidd in the ribs and hit a Terry Taylor Flying Five-arm. Kidd used a Back Spin Kick to further injure Evan’s ribs. Evan caught Kidd with a Beefcake Flying Knee to the face. Evan went to the corner and finished off Kidd with the Shooting Star Press.

Grade: A+

Jay’s Thoughts: These are possibly the two best technical wrestlers in the WWE, right now. I was glad to see that this match wasn’t marred by the interference of the Hart Dynasty. Evan should be in the Championship Scramble on Sunday. Sadly, he’s not even on the card. Same can be said for Kidd (and the rest of the Dynasty). ECW is still seen as the “Red-Headed Step-child” of the WWE. This match was amazing, filled with action and excitement.

Josh and Matt talked about Finlay’s surprise attacks, last week, on Christian and Tommy Dreamer. Finlay did that due to the eye injury that he suffered, weeks earlier, while trying to break up a fight between Tommy and Christian. Finlay was coming out to explain his actions, in the next segment.

Finlay got a mixed reaction as he came out. He was actually set to compete in a match, rather than just talk. Finlay did take the mic and addressed the concerns of the fans. Finlay was offended that Tommy and Christian only texted him an apology. Finlay grumbled about not being able to support his family, while injured. Finlay said he did what he did as an “Eye for an Eye”. Finlay started to talk about The Bash when Zack Ryder showed up. Zack started ranting about how he is going to take the fight to Finlay…Woo Woo Woo. That match would happen, next.

Finlay d Zack Ryder

The Finish:

Zack stood on Finlay’s head and then choked the Irishman on the ropes. Zack bounded Finlay’s head off the corner turnbuckle and then Snap Mared Finlay to the canvas. Zack cranked away with a Rear Chin Lock. Zack tried to lock in a Dragon Sleeper but abandoned it to punch the eye of Finlay. Zack hit a Kneelift to Zack’s eye. Zack Shouldered Finlay in the corner and threw another hard knee to the eye area. Zack dug his fingers into Finlay’s eye while Arm Barring Finlay. Finlay flipped Zack over but Zack fought back. Zack went to the ropes but took a boot to the face. Finlay nailed an Inverted Atomic Drop but Zack answered with a shot to the face. Finlay returned with a flurry over Clotherlines. Finlay did the Front Roll out of the Fireman’s Carry. Finlay Back Body Dropped Zack but Ryder threw Finlay into the ropes. Finlay clutched his eyes as Zack untied the corner pad. Finlay tripped Zack and made a quick pin. Finlay’s eye was starting to swell.

Grade: B

Jay’s Thoughts: Poor Zack Ryder. He’s stuck with a lame gimmick and having to job to Finlay. I like Finlay, but he’s definitely on the wind-down of his career. I don’t understand why he was thrown into the Championship Scramble ahead of Vladimir Kozlov. Truthfully, Kozlov will likely show up for Summerslam, assuming he doesn’t get his walking papers from the WWE.

ECW looked at the Raw Rebound. It was the Last Man Standing match between Triple H and Randy Orton. It was one of the most brutal matches on Raw in a long time. HHH’s knee was injured. HHH hit the Pedigree on Orton on the steel ramp. HHH almost made it to his feet but the ladder he was using to get up fell over. Orton retained, since neither man could answer the 10 count.

From there, Donald Trump and Vince McMahon had another confrontation. Trump suckered Vince into paying him double his investment back. Trump ended up smacking Vince in the face after the deal was made. Vince threatened to knock Trump on his “Billionaire Butt” if they met again. Vince actually Fired Trump. Vince then told Orton, in the back, that he put Orton against HHH in a Three Stages of Hell match.Fall 1 was a regular wrestling match. Fall 2 is a Falls Count Anywhere match. The third match, if needed, would be a stretcher match. HHH jumped Orton in the parking lot and told him that he would take him to Hell on Sunday.

Jay’s Quick Thoughts: Why the heck did Trump “buy” Raw? Another dumb story, thanks to your friends in the Raw Writing Camp.

Matt and Josh ran down the updated Bash card. Matt then broke out his chalkboard, in the ring, to discuss the ECW Championship Scramble match. Matt ran down the rules of the match. The last person to make a pinfall at the end of 20 minutes will be the champ. The five contestants are going to be: Finlay, Jack Swagger, Christian, Mark Henry and the champion, Tommy Dreamer. Matt sent it to Gregory Helms.

Helms began to talk to Mark Henry about the main event when suddenly a storage crate fell over onto a stagehand. He called out for help. Several backstage people ran over to try and lift the huge crate but couldn’t. Before Mark could help the guy, the crate was lifted…by The Hurricane! (yeah, he’s back!). He ran off and Gregory Helms stepped back in to finish the interview. Mark and Tony played the confused part really well. Great segment.

Jay’s Thoughts: It’s about darn time that The Hurricane returned. Gregory Helms is a great wrestler but has minimal personality. The Hurricane was one of the most memorable characters in the last 10 years. Welcome Back, Hurricane.

Jack Swagger sauntered to the ring for the main event tag match. He did push-ups Swagger’s partner was the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry. Tony Atlas was at Mark’s side for this battle. Tommy Dreamer then arrived for the battle. Christian then rounded out the quartet of grapplers for the main event.

Jack Swagger & Mark Henry d Tommy Dreamer & Christian

The Finish:

Mark tagged in, as did Christian. Christian hit several punches and a pair of Clotheslines. Mark shrugged it off. Christian hit a pair of Missile Dropkicks, the second one dropping Mark. Jack came into to interfere , only to get Clotheslined over the ropes and to the floor. Christian went to the corner and tried for the Twisted, Springboard Sunset Flip but couldn’t dislodge the behemoth from his stance. Jack tagged himself into the match, which irritated Mark Henry. Mark missed his Bonzai Drop and Christian began to scoot across the ring. Jack caught Christian and tried for the Gut Wrench Powerbomb. Christian flipped over and went for the Inside-Out Roll-up. Jack kicked out at two. Christian sent Jack to the ropes and then detonated the KillSwitch. Tony Atlas pulled Jack’s leg under the bottom rope. Christian got a shot in on Tony and then Tommy came off the steps with a modified Thesz Press to take out the Hall of Famer. Tommy pounded on Tony. Christian flew off the apron into the arms of Mark. Mark slammed Christian into the ring post and rolled Christian back into the ring. Jack used the Gut Wrench Powerbomb to end the match.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: The main event was decent but it felt rather rushed. The ECW Championship Scramble is going to be decent but I figure it’s just a set-up for the Summerslam match where the champ will battle Kozlov (IF he’s still in the WWE by then).

After the match. Mark Henry dropped Tommy with the World’s Strongest Slam. Jack looked at the devastation. Mark then walked up and placed Swagger in World’s Strongest Slam to send a message to the other three men in the ring. Mark and Tony walked off as the three men in the ring nursed their wounds.

Final Grade: B+

Final Thoughts: ECW left the backstage stuff to a minimum again this week. That’s a good thing. They also kept Tiffany out of sight. Again, another good thing. I don’t care for her in the leadership role. Finlay’s grumbling about getting older and nearing the end of his career is touching, if not slightly nauseating. Hardcore Holly just vanished, he didn’t sit and complain about not being able to feed his little ones. As for the Championship Scramble, I think it will be an OK match but I’m not all that excited about it. The best people in the brand (Kozlov, Bourne, Kidd and Smith) are all left out. Mark Henry should have been taken out by Kozlov in a sneak attack to take his spot. Finlay’s shot to the eye could (and may yet) leave the door open for Bourne to slip in to the match. All in all, the show was above average but nothing spectacular.


— Jay Shannon
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