Nick’s ECW Review 8-19-08: “Henry vs Hardy Part 1.5”

Nick Paglino


What’s up wrestling fans? After a brief hiatus due to internet issues that were preventing me from working online, I am back with a look at the Tuesday Night Fight known as ECW on Sci-Fi. Last night’s show was solid from top to bottom, which is much more than I can say about this past Monday Night’s Raw on USA. Check back to the site later as I will be posting my thoughts on Raw this week as well as the Summerslam PPV which aired this past Sunday night. But right now, let’s head back to Moline, Illinois for a look at all of last night’s action.

We kicked things right off with a big 6 man tag match featuring Tommy Dreamer, Evan Bourne and Super Crazy vs The Miz, John Morrison and Chavo Guerrero. This was a really fast paced, fun opening bout. Super Crazy (remember him?) started things off and the action spiraled for about 6 minutes until, surprise surprise, Tommy Dreamer was pinned by The Miz. I liked the booking here because putting both Super Crazy and Evan Bourne in a match with the likes of Miz, Morrison, Dreamer and Chavo immediately launch these two talents into upper-mid card status. Bourne is officially a top talent on ECW and hopefully the use of Super Crazy here is an indication that creative might be giving him a much needed opportunity to shine. There have been reports circulating that WWE has been looking for new Hispanic talent lately and may even been very close to signing Dos Caras Jr and El Sicodelico Jr. Why doesn’t creative just look in its own backyard if they’re seeking to push more Hispanic wrestlers? Super Crazy has been around, and squandered, for quite sometime now, so couple him being Mexican with the talent initiative occurring on ECW and it makes perfect sense for him to be used prominently on TV. As for the 6 man tag last night, everyone had a chance to shine, and Dreamer had a chance to get back to being his old self; a jobber. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give this opening bout 6 stars.

Back from commercial break and brief preview of our main event of the evening, and it’s time for our second contest Ricky Ortiz vs Gavin Spears. I have to be honest, I have no idea how they are trying to push Ortiz. The announcers seem to be putting him over as a heel, and if they’re not then they’re putting him over as an extremely annoying face. Striker commented that just because he waves a rally flag doesn’t mean he’s automatically gained respect, and that he doesn’t have Striker’s respect until he earns it. That sounds to me like Ortiz is being put over as an overly cocky heel who is more concerned with his merchandise sales than his in-ring game. Speaking of his in-ring game, although he’s not terrible, he’s not overly impressive. It does seem, however, like he’s getting over with the kids in the crowd, and WWE seems to love that, so I don’t expect this guy to be going anywhere anytime soon. As for Gavin Spears, why last week would creative promote a new star to be arriving on ECW only to have him job in his debut match? How is this “initiative” supposed to work when the guys coming in have no character depth, we don’t hear from them before they hit the ring, and they’re immediately jobbed out? How did creative believe that anyone would care about Spears at all last night? If this talent initiative is going to work, WWE needs to introduce these guys as individuals rather than carbon copies of each other 4.5 Stars.

Back from commercial break and Finlay hits the ring accompanied by Hornswoggle to speak on Mike Knox’s current behavior. I am still amazed that the live crowd pops so huge for Hornswoggle. Why? How is the crowd dead for great in-ring talent like most of the cruiserweights yet loves the idiocy of a dancing midget? It makes no sense and still boggles my mind. This feud, however, between Knox and Finlay, is being done very well. It’s simple, it’s intriguing, and I can’t wait to see some of the intense matches these two guys will have. The brawl last night was exciting and the next step is for GM Teddy Long to actually book these guys in a solid match together.

After a recap of the Michaels/Jericho incident at Summerslam, (which was the best promo exchange I’ve seen in a wrestling ring in years) it’s time for our main event of the evening Matt Hardy vs Mark Henry for the ECW Championship. This was a great match. Even more, it was the match that we should have seen at Summerslam. Why DQ the bout at a PPV within 30 seconds then give away a 15 minute bout on free TV two nights later? This match was very well booked. Both talents worked hard and surprisingly well together, Hardy came off like a credible #1 contender, and Henry was able to retain the title with the help of Tony Atlas. All of this could have been done at Summerslam and created the same effect. Another issue I had last night was that if Atlas interfered in the match at the PPV causing a DQ, and then Teddy Long made a rematch for last night as a result, why was Atlas NOT banned from ringside? Long basically allowed the same exact thing to happen to Hardy only on a different night. Therefore the rematch did nothing to benefit Hardy. It is a small complaint, however, because this feud is really starting to grow on me, and I’d like to see this culminate with some sort of extreme rules match on a PPV. 7.5 Stars.

Overall, last night offered a solid edition of ECW on Sci-Fi. There were some misfires during the broadcast, but the show accomplished its goals of moving current storylines forward and was book ended by two very good matches. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give ECW 6 Stars.

Nick’s Notes:

-Too bad for Tommy Dreamer that Colin Delaney was fired, now he has no one to beat on ECW.

-Tony Atlas is ripped. Wow, I didn’t realize he was still in such great shape. For the record he wasn’t wearing a sleeveless button-down, his biceps actually ate the rest of his dress shirt.

-Is Ortiz really using a splash as his finisher? Come on, that wasn’t a believable finisher in the 1800’s, why would I buy it now?

-Stiker informed us that Gavin Spears used to work as a blackjack dealer. Good to know he has a back-up job for when creative gives up on him.

-Finlay has a leprechaun that hides under the ring. Knox should counter him with a leprechaun that lives in his beard.

-Mark Henry is incredibly strong. He was shown curling dumbbells that looked to be about the size and weight of Japan.

Thanks for reading, and as always please send any and all feedback to VOWNick@gmail.com

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