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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The ECW (6/9) Extrene Examination
Our resident philosopher takes an in-depth look at the Tuesday Night Delight, ECW.

ECW has a new champion. The question was: Jack Swagger or Tommy Dreamer? The new champ would make his first appearance on the show, along with numerous other surprises. Let’s take a look.

The show opened with a look at the ECW Triple Threat title match at Extreme Rules. Swagger hit the Gut Wrench Powerbomb on Christian but Tommy slipped in and nailed the D(reamer)DT on Swagger to win the ECW title. The crowd went wild.

The show came from Biloxi, MS. Tiffany was in the ring with a table and chairs. She announced that Tommy Dreamer had earned a new contract with the company. She called out the new ECW champion, Tommy Dreamer. Tommy was all smiles as he came down to the ring. Tiffany talked about Tommy putting his career on the line to earn the ECW strap. Tommy took the strap and thanked Tiffany. Tommy admitted that he doubted his ability to win the ECW strap. Tommy broke down as he threw love out to the fans for supporting him. He thanked the fans for their support and love. Tommy said it was the highlight of his career. Tommy started to sign his new contract when Christian showed up.

Christian was not a happy camper. Christian brought Tommy some tissues, since he was being a cry-baby. Christian grumbled about Jack Swagger costing him his title. Christian said that Tommy does owe him a rematch. He also told Tommy that he was glad that Tommy was still in ECW. As Tommy tried to sign on the contract, again, Jack Swagger walked from the back to join the party.

Swagger couldn’t believe Christian was shaking Tommy’s hand. Swagger said the fans were there to see him not “Fatty” Dreamer. Swagger said Dreamer had no business being in the title match. Swagger dissed Tiffany when she started to explain. Swagger said that his people would help Christian and him strip Tommy of the ECW title. Swagger suggested that Tommy forfeit the ECW strap to avoid all the legalities. Christian said Swagger had a point,. Christian said that he and Tommy should do the right thing. They both attacked Swagger and double Clotheslined him out of the ring. Tommy went to the corner to show off the belt. Christian then Powerbombed Tommy through the table. Christian just made one of the fastest heel turns in recent WWE history.

Jay’s Thoughts: It’s about time that Christian started towards a heel turn. He works so much better as a heel than a face. Tommy v Christian is a good starter feud for Tommy. I have to think that Dreamer v Kozlov is around the corner.

One of the backstage guys complained a guy in green pushing him into tables. Tiffany walked over and gave Christian grief about attacking Tommy. Tiffany switched the main event to team Christian with Jack Swagger against the Hart Dynasty. Tommy was originally set to partner with Christian but was no longer able to compete, thanks to Christian.

Mark Henry’s theme music played. Instead of Mark, it was Tony Atlas who was set to do battle. Tony was in decent shape, despite his age. He had a slight limp but bounced around to get ready. Tony was scheduled to face Evan Bourne, after Tony cost Mark a victory against Air Bourne, last week.

Evan Bourne d Tony Atlas

The Finish:

Tony hit a Powerslam and then went to the Rear Chin Lock. Evan punched and kicked his way loose. Evan hit a Double Jumping Knee and the Standing Back Moonsault. Tony hit the Belly to Back Suplex. Evan hit a Running DDT and then went High Rent. Evan nailed the Shooting Star Press to take out the WWE Hall of Famer.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m just not a fan of Tony Atlas. Tony was allowed to actually look decent in this match. Evan, of course, got to shine. Evan is getting so lost in the shuffle in WWE/ECW. He should be on the front line to fight Dreamer, but he’s mired down in a nowhere feud with Mark Henry/Tony Atlas. Who did he tick off to get stuck with this lame feud? The match was still decent, tho.

After the match, Mark rushed in and attacked Evan. He hit the World’s Strongest Slam on Evan and then oozed out of the ring. He left without his mentor, Tony Atlas. Josh and Matt then talked about the adjusted main event. They sent it to a commercial about the Extreme Rules replay.

Vladimir Kozlov came out for a 2-on-1 Handicap match against Luke Hawx and Chris Lewie. Hawx may look familiar to fans of the short-lived MTV wrestling venture, Wrestling Society X.

Vladimir Kozlov d Luke Hawx and Chris Lewie
Handicap Rules match

Kozlov Hip Tossed Lewie to start the battle. Kozlov hit a Standing Exploder Suplex to send Lewie sailing into his own corner. Hawx tagged in and kicked at Kozlov.Hawx went for a Spin Kick but Kozlov caught the leg and swept the other one. Kozlov then hit a Crescent Kick that sent Hawx through the ropes and to the floor. Kozlov went out and threw Hawx into the ring post. He rolled Hawk back in the ring and broke out the Snow Headbutt. He then hit the Overhead Release Suplex to send Hawk to the corner. Lewie tagged in and went to the top rope. He flew straight into a Headbutt from Kozlov. Kozlov kicked Hawx out of the ring and then dropped the Iron Curtain on Lewie to take the easy win.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: I really expected Kozlov to show up and destroy Tommy Dreamer for the ECW strap. Instead, he’s still doing his Goldberg impression. Kozlov’s trying to build himself up as an unbeatable monster. With all his losses on Smackdown, it’s kind of like pushing the Mulkey Brothers to rival the Road Warriors (obscure reference warning). Kozlov needs to go straight after either Tommy or Christian and make the kind of impact that good writers would be working on.

Christian and Jack Swagger talked in the locker room. Swagger knew that Christian didn’t want to team with him. Swagger said that he could hold up his end but wanted to make sure Christian could hold up his end.

The Raw Rebound looked at the assault on Batista, Monday night. Legacy sent Batista to the hospital with a damaged arm. As one of her final duties as Raw GM, Vickie Guerrero granted Randy Orton his rematch against Batista. If Batista didn’t answer the ref’s 10 count, Orton would win the title by forfeit. At the count of 8, an ambulance pulled into view (on the Titantron). The ref halted his count to wait for Batista to emerge. Instead of The Animal, Triple H showed up on camera. HHH walked to the ring, destroying Rhodes and DiBiase before he reached the ring. HHH then annihilated Orton, beating him all over the arena floor. HHH finished off Orton with a Pedigree onto a steel chair.

Josh and Matt announced the main event for next week’s 3-For-All edition of Raw. Triple H, Big Show, Randy Orton and John Cena will square off for the WWE title. Batista was injured by Legacy, storywise. He was actually injured, several weeks earlier, and required surgery on his arm. I send out my best wishes to Dave for a speedy recovery.

The ECW title match was also announced. Christian will battle Tommy Dreamer for the Platinum Prize. The World title will also be defended but that will be announced on Friday.

The Eddie Van Halen-esque guitar riff of the Hart Dynasty heralded the arrival of the triad. All three were, of course, decked out in pink and black. Smith and Kidd helped Natalya up onto the apron and then joined her in the ring. The crowd actually got a decent pop. Natalya took the stick to announce that Kidd and Smith would face two former ECW Champs. Natalya stated that Kidd and Smith would be Future Champions. ECW took a quick break before the main event.

The Dynasty waited on their opponents as ECW returned. Jack Swagger was the first to arrive. He really needs to be wearing red, white and blue. He was joined by Christian, who got one of the most negative reactions since returning to the WWE. He was still getting a smattering of cheers but nothing like before.

The Hart Dynasty d Jack Swagger & Christian

The Finish:

Swagger called for the tag. He got tagged, with a fist to the face. Christian was still legal. He went for several punches after ducking Clotheslines off the rope bounces. David tried for the Running Powerslam but Christian got free. Christian tried for the Sunset Flip but David blocked it. They exchanged Roll-ups, without either getting the duke. Christian popped both Harts in the face and then nailed the Pendulum Kick on David. Christian nailed the Tornado DDT but David kicked out just before three. Christian missed the Benoit Flying Headbutt. David tagged out and Kidd went for a Springboard Warrior’s Way Double Stomp. Christian moved and sent Kidd to the ropes. Christian went for the Killswitch but Kidd shoved free. Christian Springboard Sunset Flipped over Kidd but couldn’t keep him down. Kidd nailed a Spin Kick and went to the ropes. He wanted the Wheelbarrow Faceplant but Christian blocked it. Christian then planted Kidd like a row of taters with the Slop Drop. Kidd kicked out at two. Christian tried to detonate the Killswitch but got too close to his own corner. Swagger caught the former champ and hit a Reverse Hot Shot on Christian. Smith tagged in and the Dynasty used the Hart Attack to take the win.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: This match just didn’t work for me. The Hart Dynasty should be battling the Colons, not two dysfunctional, make-shift partners. The issues between Swagger and Christian throw Captain Charisma into a bizarre limbo. He’s booed out of the building for fighting Tommy Dreamer. He’s also cheered, mildly, for battling Swagger. It completely neutralizes him as an effective force to make him a “tweener”. He really needs to become a total heel to not get lost in the ever-expanding top tier of ECW stars.

After the match, Swagger and the harts beat on Christian. Tommy came running with the kendo stick and cleaned house. Matt and Josh were surprised that Tommy would help the man who had earlier Powerbombed him through a table. After the replay, Tommy was reading Christian the riot act. Fade to black.

Final Grade: B

Final Thoughts: Christian lost both his title and momentum at Extreme Rules. I was happy to see Tommy get the belt but I’m not sure if ECW really knows what to do with him now. The interplay between Christian, Jack Swagger and Tommy Dreamer is weak. Tommy really needs to engage Kozlov and get annihilated. Kozlov could then go in as a mega-heel. It could even lead to a Swagger face turn. He could still become the next Bob Backlund, given the right push. ECW is in a state of flux, right now. The next few months should help remold the Land of Extreme.


— Jay Shannon
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