Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ECW Thoughts - July 21, 2009

ECW's been a roller coaster in terms of quality since the big 15 Superstar Trade, how's the show looking four weeks into its extreme makeover?

Yoshi Tatsu vs. William Regal start the night off with a really good match. Regal was in ultra heel mode, throwing some extra stiff "welcome to the big leagues" forearms, and Yoshi responded in kind with a flurry of chops. Regal losing bums me out, because I think it's now safe to assume he will not be Chris Jericho's partner, as I had predicted earlier today. No shame in Regal's loss though, he dominated most of the match and Striker did a good job selling it as a huge upset.

ECW's next big thing, Ezekiel Jackson dominated Local Competitor, but things got weird when Vladimir Kozlov's music hit and he made his way to the ring. I have to admit, I got really excited about these two just beating the hell out of each other, but Kozlov instead attacked Local Competitor! I don't know if this is leading to a feud or a partnership between these two, but either way I am highly intrigued.

"The Gold Standard" Shelton Benjamin vs. Goldust was surprisingly good; this is what I meant a few weeks back when I said you can't count out Goldust, who still has a trick or two up his sleeve. I can't think of a better match involving Goldust since 2002 during his run with Booker T, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the Bizarre One.

Sheamus is awesome. Fun, old-school style backstage vignette where he says the days of Irishmen dancing around with Leprechauns on "E-C-Dobel Yah" are over!

The Paul Burchill/Goldust backstage confrontation was a nice way to set-up Burchill for his match, and Goldy bringing up his electrocution is always amusing.

Paul Burchill vs. Tyler Reks was another rock solid bout and definitely more impressive than Reks' previous encounters with Zack Ryder. Back and forth action, Reks looked a lot more comfortable, took a lot more risks and picked up his first win. Burchill's also really won me over since coming to ECW, he was doing nothing for me on Raw, but he's really upped his game since moving to SyFy. Since he attacked Reks after the match, I hope this means there's more in store for "The Ripper" and these last couple weeks of losing aren't indicative of him sliding even further down the card.

Okay, I've given it three chances, the Abraham Washington Show has to go. Tommy Dreamer & Christian could've easily done that segment by themselves, they didn't need Abe out there chiming in with his painfully lame jokes. Wrestling talk shows have worked in the past because the host has traditionally been the one to stir the pot, but Tommy and Christian were doing all that while Washington was nothing but a distraction. It's lame, unfunny and has no place in the main event slot of ECW, it's time to cut bait on this experiment.

Okay, Abraham Washington Show aside, I think this episode proved that ECW still has all the tools to be the best little wrestling show on television, despite the big trade taking many of the brand's stars. All of the actual matches (the Zeke squash doesn't count) were enjoyable, new stars are being showcased and they seem to be showing us more depth as they continue working on the big stage. I have a strong feeling that someone on ECW is about to explode as WWE's next big thing, but it's up to them to grab the proverbial brass ring.

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