WWE ECW TV report
By Ryan Capuano
AIM Screen Name: CapRFFC
Date: 7/15/08, live from Charlotte, NC
In defense of last week's gaff of thinking that Braden Walker was Chris Harris, then thinking it was too fat to actually be him, rethinking myself during the match, then ultimately deciding that it couldn't be him because Chris Harris was... you know, good, and Braden Walker stunk up the ring and was fat to the point of being unrecognizable, Chris Harris looks like BJ Whitmer after he got caught in a muffin factory. Startlingly, I only got one angry e-mail about that. The rest were commiserating with me over the fact that this was an even more underwhelming debut than Ricky Ortiz's a week earlier.
A year ago this week, I wrote what was probably my most notoriously negative column to date, but I had a damn good reason. I went off on that week's edition of the show (which was really terrible), but I was in a bad enough mood because it was the show before the (horrendously bad in 2005 and 2006) Great American Bash. My fears were unfounded as it actually wasn't that bad of a show last year. Thankfully, last night's RAW was so strong and well booked (minus the last twenty minutes) that I'm not dreading this nearly as much as I was last year. The fact that the card is much better on paper this year doesn't hurt either. So it makes perfect sense that I have to go to a wedding this Sunday and will not be able to watch the show. Anyway, here's the obligatory rundown of the card with my predictions. As of this writing, there are only six announced matches:
HHH vs. Edge: HHH isn't giving up that belt anytime soon. And they're going to want one of the biggest guys in the company holding that belt for the debut on My Network TV.
CM Punk vs. Batista: After last night's dark match main event result (where Batista beat Punk clean), I'm not 100% sold on Punk's chances. But hopefully they have patience and do the right thing and put him over clean in what will hopefully be a good match.
Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer: The fact that Dreamer hasn't won a match since October makes his number one contendership questionable at best. That being said, Henry will retain. Tony Atlas does not need to interfere and it's a detriment to Henry's on-screen character to have him. More on this later.
John Cena vs. JBL: It probably won't be as good as their I Quit Match from a few years ago, but it'll be a fun brawl. I'd be surprised if Cena didn't go over again.
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho: My prediction for match of the night (considering their previous encounter at Judgment Day is my second favorite match of the year so far), and I think Jericho will pull off the win here evening the score.
Nattie Neidhart vs. Michelle McCool: If Neidhart doesn't win this, they are fools. That being said, I'm sure she'll come out on top.
There you go. Should be a pretty good show, but again, I won't be able to watch it, so I'll probably get someone else to review it. I haven't decided who yet, but expect some lolstar ratingz for the show in next week's report. You know I love my snowflakes. Onward and upward to the Land of Extreme!
A recap of last week's main event shenanigans is played.
Tazz is in the ring to start us off this week and introduces us to the World's Strongest Champion. Mark Henry wanders down to the ring, Tony Atlas by his side. They're here to answer the question as to why they have formed their friendship. Atlas says it's an honor to carry the bag of the World's Strongest Champion and get his pay day. To prove Henry's ability, we have a demonstration. Atlas pulls out a frying pan and puts over the frying pan's durability. He wants someone who thinks they're strong to come out and try to bend it. They pick a guy from the audience who looks a little bit like Larry Bird. His name is Chad something or other, and he's from Lexington, NC. He tries to bend the frying pan and when Atlas asks him if he thinks he's strong, the man says, "No, sir." This whole thing was unintentionally hilarious and it makes me wonder if the guy was actually a plant or not. Atlas hands the frying pan to Henry, who promptly rolls it in half. An impressive display of power. Cue Tommy Dreamer, who Adamle calls "the Dream Machine, Mr. Hardcore." Dreamer congratulates Henry on his victory over the frying pan. Dreamer says he's been training pretty hard and wants to see if he can do it. Henry gives him a fresh pan and Dreamer tries his best to bend the pan, but he gives up and whacks Henry over the head with it with a VERY stiff shot, thus breaking the pan and bending, ending the segment.
Backstage, Teddy Long gives Dreamer the night off to cool himself down.
In the crowd are some interesting signs. Among them, "I Hate Obama" and "Haas Pop."
Mike Knox vs. Shannon Moore
Moore uses some quickness to get a shot or two in, but Knox uses his power stuff to put Moore down, including a nice butterfly suplex. He puts Moore in the backbreaker stretch and promptly follows wit a scoop slam. He goes for a knee drop, but Moore moves and uses some kicks to the thigh. He goes to the top and hits a nice hurricanrana. Moore goes for a spinning heel kick in the corner, but Knox catches him, hits a backbreaker, then goes into the Knox Out for the pin.
FINAL RATING: *1/4 Quick and painless and a good showcase for Knox's strength.
The RAW Rebound shows last night's tragic head-grazing car accident.
WWE Did You Know?: WWE video games have sold more than thirty-nine million copies this decade. This is a good time to put over the game Total Extreme Wrestling 2008, a booking simulator for the PC (using fictitious promotions) that is very non-kayfabe and a lot of fun for those of you who enjoy the fantasy booking aspect of wrestling. That being said, the Smackdown vs. RAW series is a lot of fun.
I just noticed that Justin Roberts is doing ring announcing again for this show.
Chavo Guerrero w/ Bam Neely vs. Evan Bourne
Apparently Bourne's new catchphrase is he defies the odds because he defies gravity. Okay then. Some chain wrestling to start us off. Bourne gets the upper hand with a Quackenbush arm drag. Bourne works the arm, but Chavo back body drops him over the top. Bourne tries to go to the top, but Chavo knocks him off the top. Chavo hits a belly to belly suplex and locks in that almost Cobra Clutch-like move he does. Bourne gets out of it and nails some stiff kicks. Chavo tries to battle out of it, but Bourne hits the arm drag into a standing moonsault for two. Bourne tries to catch him in the corner, but Chavo hits the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Chavo goes up top for the Vader Bomb, but Bourne gets the knees up. He puts Chavo into position, goes up to the top, hits that BEAUTIFUL Shooting Star Press, and the ref counts, 1...2...3! EVAN BOURNE BEATS CHAVO GUERRERO!
FINAL RATING: **3/4 A great display of athletic ability, but a pretty basic layout held it back from higher levels. These two have perfect chemistry together and putting Bourne over clean was a brilliant move.
Backstage, Colin Delaney is talking to Tiffany when Atlas and Henry come over and intimidate him. They say they don't have a problem with him, but Henry goes back on this statement and puts Delaney in the bear hug. SWERVE~! He tosses him down hard and Tiffany comes to his aid.
The card for the Bash is run down.
The Miz and John Morrison vs. The Hardy Boyz
Miz and Matt are trading moves to start us off. Hardy goes into a headlock takedown. Miz battles up and the two trade armbars before Matt goes into another headlock. Miz backs him up into the corner, but Hardy punches his way out of it and tags in Jeff. Jeff comes in with a springboard dropkick and lands so awkwardly that it reiterates the fact that he is the least athletic high flier in the history of wrestling. Miz is able to make the tag to Morrison, who controls the match briefly before Jeff takes him down. He tags in Matt, and they hit a double back suplex. Matt goes back into a side headlock, but Miz distracts and Morrison backs him into the corner. Matt is able to once again punch his way out and goes for the Twist of Fate, but Miz makes a blind tag and comes in with a stiff clothesline. The heels go on the attack. Matt is able to eventually make the hot tag and Jeff cleans house. The Hardy's do all their signature spots, capping off with the Poetry in Motion. Morrison pulls the Miz out of the way of the Swanton Bomb, though, as we go to commercial. Wow, that sequence went by very fast.
Back from commercial, Morrison is working over a chin lock on Jeff. Jeff tries to get out of it, but Morrison makes the tag and Miz goes on the attack now. He hits a backbreaker for two, then continues to drive the knee into Jeff's back. He slaps on a side headlock. Hardy stands up, but Miz clubs him down and pushes him into the ropes and misses the swinging corner clothesline. He immediately tags in Morrison and Morrison hits the backbreaker into the side Russian legsweep. Morrison picks up Hardy, but Jeff catches him with the sit-down jawbreaker. Morrison once again immediately tags in Miz. Miz ties Jeff to the Tree of Woe and chokes him a bit. He then sits Jeff up on the top rope and goes for a back superplex, but Jeff elbows out of it and hits the Whisper in the Wind. He makes the hot tag to Matt, who goes to town and hits stiff clotheslines on Morrison. He hits the bulldog/clothesline combo on Morrison and Miz and goes for the Side Effect on Morrison, but Morrison elbows out of it and hits the hot shot on Matt. He goes up top for the corkscrew moonsault, but Matt clubs him across the back and then follows up with the Crucifix Bomb for two, but Miz makes the save. Matt punches Miz, but Morrison hits the Corkscrew Neckbreaker. Behind the ref's back (who was trying to get rid of Miz), Jeff hits the Swanton across Morrison's back, who was pinning Matt. Matt in turn pins Morrison and the Hardies are victorious once again.
FINAL RATING: *** A solid reminder of what tag team wrestling could be in the WWE if they put real teams against each other in the ring. A fun main event. Adamle really shit the bed during commentary on this, though. He stumbled over his words and didn't even call half of the moves. I feel bad saying it because I hear he's such a nice guy and it's not that he's unlikable, but he still has a long way to go here.
WWE is two for two in their shows this week. Tonight's show was solid the whole way through with logical booking and a perfect flow between matches and angles. The fact that they focuses on the wrestling, however, was the key to its success. Even the Mike Knox match was effective because it wasn't too long and showcased the right things. Bourne getting the win over Chavo was HUGE and a ballsy, but effective move in my book.
That being said, I still don't think it's necessary to pair up Henry and Atlas. Henry is good enough on the mic where he doesn't need a mouth piece. And if Atlas interferes in his matches, it takes away from Henry's dominance in the ring. Still, that little thing didn't hinder the show overall as his use was limited and effective tonight. Great show overall.
That'll do it for this week. As I type this, I switched over to the All Star Game to a Gillette commercial featuring John Cena being annoying and a lot of people in the background doing weird things to showcase their athletic ability. Enjoy the Bash and I'll see you next week.
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