We start tonight with the formal introduction of Mark Henry as our new ECW Champion, and out he comes to address the viewers. This was a typical Henry promo, mostly boring with the big guy chewing every other word. But before I could completely fall asleep, out came Tommy Dreamer with his crutch Colin Delaney and things started to get interesting. I began thinking at this point that with so many talents being drafted away from ECW, now would be a perfect time for Dreamer to step into a lengthy feud with Mark Henry. Tommy was told, however, that if he wanted a shot at the title, then Colin Delaney would have to beat Henry one-on-one tonight. Albeit interesting, this setup a main event that I’m sure no one wanted to see. I know I didn’t.
Back from commercial break and it’s time for our first match of the evening, a 6 man tag featuring Finlay, Hornswoggle and Matt Hardy vs Miz, Morrison and Chavo Guerrero. This was a great bout, with Hornswoggle being used sparingly, which I thought to be an improvement over Night of Champions. One small complaint I have though is that I would like to see Finlay change up the use of the ring apron from time to time. He always does the same thing. It seems as if by now his opponents would know not to do baseball slides because he’s always gonna wrap them up. Morrison landed on his crotch twice in one week by jumping over the ropes onto the ring apron. Again, you’d think he would know what’s coming. Morrison and Miz have a similar issue. The only double team maneuver they use is the forearm into the over-the-rope elbow. Mix it up a bit. Otherwise, this was a very good match. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give this opener 6.5 Stars.
Back from break and we are half way into the show but only one match deep. We head to the back where we see Teddy Long talking to Tiffany and Carlito’s doppelganger Atlas Ortiz. Armando Estrada interrupts and demands to know the status of his contract. Long informs him that while his contract is under review he is instating a “talent initiative” on ECW to bring new talent to the brand. I like this idea. We know that ECW drew the short end of the stick in the draft, and if it’s to be used as a pseudo televised developmental system, why not introduce talent on a regular basis. We’ve seen what it’s done for CM Punk and Kofi Kingston, so this might end up being a great idea.
We’re 15 minutes away from the end of the broadcast, and our second match is now underway, Atlas Ortiz vs Armando Estrada. Although this match was given a decent amount of time, neither guy showcased much more than basic wrestling offense. Punches, kicks, a few headlocks, a dropkick, a back body drop and this one was over. Atlas wins with a backslide and Estrada fails to make an impression on Long once again. If you’re a new talent, and this is your first match on TV which is given a pretty solid amount of time, you need to come out of the gate with a bit more than a backslide. 4 Stars.
Back from commercial break and it’s time for our main event, Mark Henry vs Colin Delaney. This match gave us the precise reason why Mark Henry should never be a champion of any kind. He wins his first major WWE title and what does he do next? He goes back to squashing 50 lb wrestlers. This was completely uneventful and better not become a recurring thing. 2 Stars.
Overall, this was a pretty disappointing edition of ECW. I can’t remember the last time it took 20 minutes for an hour long program to have its first match. Again, I might be criticized as I was for my Raw review because “the show was setting things up for the future so it didn’t have to be wrestling oriented.” But I think something’s wrong with the world when I’m being criticized for wanting wrestling on a…wrestling show. Last night’s Raw, although lacking in wrestling, at least succeeded in giving us setup, whereas tonight’s ECW setup virtually nothing. A possible rivalry between Estrada and Atlas could be fun, but other than that, I’m not interested in watching Mark Henry blow through talent in 30 seconds. Out of a possible 9 stars, I give tonight’s ECW 3.5 stars.
-Where was Evan Bourne? A new talent that is getting over with the crowd needs to be seen in some capacity each week so that he/she remains present in the viewers’ minds. I like the talent initiative idea, but WWE needs to be careful not to crowd the scene. These guys need exposure to develop.
-I like Tiffany, but where has Kelly Kelly been? She needs to be handcuffed to the camera as far as I’m concerned.
-I didn’t notice Adamle so much tonight. I wonder why? Oh ya, Mark Henry was on the mic.
-People seem to genuinely like and root for Colin Delaney. They ought to let him win a match or two sometime.
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