Tuesday, 18 December 2007 15:27
Live from Rochester, NY
The Miz & John Morrison v. Shannon Moore & Jimmy Wang Yang
This is a non-title rematch of what probably was the best ECW match in a couple of months. Moore tried for three quick covers with a variety of cradles on Miz. Moore then worked in a couple of arm drags and a drop kick on Morrison. Wang tagged in and went right to a rest hold before hitting what I only can describe as a double tilt-a-whirl hip toss which led Tazz to drop Ted Arcidi’s name (basically the Mark Henry of 1986, except he was only around for months while Henry’s been around for over a decade?!). A double baseball slide missed for the faces as the sold on the floor as the match went to break. The heels got the heat on Yang during the break, but Moore received a hot tag shortly thereafter. It defeats the purpose of the hot tag if you do not show the selling necessary to make it mean something. Moore did his thing for a minute or so before Miz, the illegal man, shoved him off the top rope. The heels held the advantage until Moore connected with a dropkick onto an airborne Morrison to lead to another hot tag. Miz then did a fine job bumping for Yang who hit a plancha onto Miz. Morrison and Moore followed that with successive baseball slides. Moore hit a corkscrew moonsault onto Morrison outside while Miz got a near fall on Yang inside. We then had the classic piece of heel miscommunication leading toYang hitting a moonsault for the win.
Moore & Yang (x) d. Miz (o) & Morrison, Pin, 12:36, ***.
Tazz was in the ring emceeing a contest between Shelton Benjamin and local job guy, Colin Delaney. Delaney is, I believe, actually Chikara worker Colin Olsen and he more promo time than most guys on the roster just to say it’s his first match.
Benjamin hit a T-bone suplex, head kick, and the power bomb into the buckle to start. He then finished with his leaping DDT. For a short squash, this was fairly effective as Delaney actually drew some empathy. After the match, Benjamin shouted his lame catch phrase over the microphone.
Shelton Benjamin d. Colin Delaney, Pin, 1:33, squash.
A Kofi Kingston vignette aired as he beat up a purse snatcher, off-camera once again.
Nunzio v. Kenny Dykstra
Nunzio was dressed as an elf. Dykstra hit Nunzio with a bag of candy canes early on and then went to ordinary brawling offense. Finally, Dykstra missed a charge but failed going for a tornado DDT and Dykstra won with a guillotine legdrop. This was a total nothing segment if I have ever seen one.
Dykstra d. Nunzio, Pin, 2:40, squash.
The Raw Rebound offered highlights of Ric Flair’s match and countout win over Umaga. They announced next week’s show is a best of ECW 2007 show.
CM Punk v. MVP
And the match, the main event, started during the break. MVP worked an arm bar on the canvas as the match got off to a slow start. Punk transitioned into a headscissors and then a headlock. After over three minutes like that, Punk hit a couple of low dropkicks to pick up a two count. MVP turned it around with a suplex and a charging big boot. Punk teased a comeback but missed a drop kick and MVP remained in control. The crowd is growing restless as the work is coming up way short here. Punk countered a vertical suplex with a knee to the head and then hit his running knee/bulldog combination. A springboard clothesline picked up a near fall. MVP tried a short German suplex for the win. Shortly thereafter, he put Punk in a tree of woe and kept pounding him leading to a disqualification. This was yet another gross inconsistency in the application of the rules as the referee never even counted. The match itself was shockingly poor considering who was working and that was only enhanced by the dreadful finish. Why even book the match if you have no desire to put either man over in the slightest? It’s not as if a previous angle necessitated a blowoff or anything.
Punk d. MVP, DQ, 11:50, ¾*.
After the bell, Chavo Guerrero, returning from a sixty day drug suspension, ran in and connected methodically with three amigos. He then hit a frog splash on the fallen ECW champion to a striking lack of crowd heat. I would put most of the blame on that squarely on the match and the finish and not so much on Guerrero.
Final Analysis: I’m pleased to welcome a new audience this week as I now will be publishing the ECW report weekly at F4WOnline.com. I appreciate the opportunity and welcome anyone to contact me at the e-mail address below.
One disconcerting trend emerging of late on this show is the lack of attention paid to its main event. This was the first time a main event has gone past the eight minute mark in five weeks and it was only the second main event to go past ten minutes in the last eleven weeks. Now there are some circumstances where a main event ought to be short because of the caliber of workers (Big Daddy V) is poor or there is an overriding angle that necessitates it. But as a rule, the main event needs to be elevated well above the rest of the program as it features the wrestlers who need to be differentiated and made special. This week the main event received ample time, but was spoiled by the absurd decision to begin it during a commercial break and the finish.
It’s readily apparent that ECW is a secondary brand to the two main shows and I do not object to that; however, the basic tenets of wrestling booking still apply here. Consider Ohio Valley Wrestling during its heyday: it never posited itself as equal to Raw or Smackdown and had minor league talent. But booker Jim Cornette still had the sense to have clear main eventers booked much stronger than the rest of his talent. It led to a better show and gave his best talent the best chance to succeed. If the purpose of ECW is to act as a glorified developmental, it needs to likewise give its best performers the opportunity to stand out and get over. In many ways, it’s more essential to do so here as there is a substantial crossover audience between ECW and the main shows whereas there was essentially none between developmental and the main shows. If even the top guys are made to look like goofs here, they will carry that reputation with them with much of the audience. Instead, if you book them as you would your top guys on Raw or Smackdown, you give them the best chance to someday become a top guy or Raw or Smackdown.