Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kick-Out's ECW Thoughts - May 19, 2009

I apologize for not getting this review up last night as soon as I got back from the show, but I was just so exhausted from a long night that I came home and crashed. Excuses out of the way, I have to say that last night's show was one of the best WWE events that I've been to in years. I've gone pretty much every time WWE comes through the area and I honestly can't remember a time off the top of my head where I had more fun, with the exception of being front row (behind JR and King) at Cyber Sunday 2006.

I'll have more on Smackdown once the show airs, but I was reading a spoiler report and there was one thing that really stuck out that I have to correct. If you see a set of spoilers that say Jeff Hardy's cheers were coming "primarily from children," that guy who wrote them is either partially deaf or just plain dumb. I've been to literally dozens of WWE live events in my day and the reaction for Jeff Hardy was one of the loudest and most sustained that I've ever heard. Cincinnati's always a hot crowd and they stayed into the show the entire night (there was even a huge pop for Khali!), but the reaction for Hardy was nothing short of insane. I'd definitely put it in the top ten biggest crowd reactions I've ever been a part of, and I've been in the audience when guys like Hogan, Warrior, Austin and Rock have been there.

Anyway, onto E-C-Dub!

Jack Swagger got tons of heat by hijacking the show, hey... he robbed us of ECW pyro, that's evil! I have to say, I was pretty impressed that Tiffany showed some acting range in this segment. Usually she just sounds like a cheerleader talking to a four year old, but here she sounded like a cheerleader scolding a four year old. Hey, any improvement is improvement. I feel bad for Tiff, she gets a lot of heat from internet fans, but she was thrown into this position as ECW GM, she's obviously trying hard and looks like she genuinely wants to be there. I think there's a role for her in WWE, maybe not this one, but I think hard work and dedication goes a long way.

When he made his return to WWE after dropping the pirate gimmick (which I still think was awesome), I was not impressed with Paul Burchill. I thought he was boring in the ring and the gimmick with Katie Lea was nothing short of creepy; but ever since going to ECW, I've really enjoyed the guy's work. Much like John Morrison, The Miz, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry and so many others, I think ECW revitalized Burchill and has made him a solid hand to have around. The match with Christian was very enjoyable, Captain Charisma made Burchill look like a legitimate threat, but still came out on top despite the injury earlier in the night from Swagger. It did everything it needed to do, so I'd say it was a perfectly executed TV match.

Another Kozlov promo with that awesome military uniform. Crowd was giving major heat to this one and since he was speaking in Russian for half of it, it's one of the few times I will ever excuse a crowd for using the "What?!" chant.

Okay, let's talk about Zach Ryder... what the hell was he wearing? I believe the best response to that would be to lift a line from good ol' JR, "GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!" No wait, actually I think the best response is "MY EYES! OH THE BURNING HORROR!" Okay, with that out of the way, I have to say that while the gimmick is ridiculous, the ring attire is terrifying and the music may actually be worse than X-Factor's, this whole shtick might just work. It's so absurd and over the top that Ryder could actually become a major player because of it... only in the world of wrestling. Oh and that finisher, something like The Playmaker mixed with The Codebreaker, was one of the coolest new finishers I've seen in awhile.

I tried to find any excuse I could to not say this, but I was not impressed with Finlay vs. David Hart Smith. Maybe it's because I was there and I know they slowed the match down during the commercial break, but even watching it on TV there were way too many restholds. I can enjoy a good mat-based wrestling match as much as the next guy, but give me something besides a hammerlock for fifteen minutes. Luckily, the crowd was red-hot for Finlay the entire night, so the match didn't suffer from a silent arena, but I just couldn't get into this one. I'm sure Hart Smith is going to have a lot of great matches in his career and I love The Hart Trilogy, but this was not the match I had high hopes for.

I won't spoil the Dreamer/Christian match set for Superstars tomorrow, but it's enjoyable. Also, I'm hearing a lot of great things about the Punk/Jericho match that was taped Monday night for Superstars, so make sure you catch the show.

Overall, great ECW that got a lot of storylines moving. Also, after watching the broadcast, I have to give credit to Striker and Matthews, who are doing a great job as the ECW commentators. I can't stand it when Striker gets his political jabs in, but that aside, these two are doing a really good job of calling the matches and getting the talent over. Just one more reason ECW is the best little wrestling show on television right now, if you're not watching it or just reading reports, you're missing out on a lot of great action. That said, make sure you're still reading reports... or at least just mine!

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