Oh it’s finally happening: Tiffany The GM Because They Couldn’t Be Bothered To Find Anybody Else announces that thanks to Donald Trump’s re-jig of Raw, there’s been another talent exchange/New Talent Initiative which would be the final shake-up for ECW On Sci-Fi. Well they’ve only had Christian vs. Swagger to run on these past few months so thanks Trump! (That sounds bad but it’s still preferable to thanking Tiffany.)
Shelton Benjamin vs. Yoshi Tatsu
Shelton is back on ECW after going to Smackdown in the 2008 Draft and other than feuding with MVP, he was kept in a cupboard until WWE needed him to do something athletic & silly in a multi-man ladder match. Yoshi Tatsu is making his debut and is better known as a NJPW commentator. I need to do more research as to why he’s here as I know Japanese companies sometimes like to send rookies to different locations while they’re learning but Yoshi had been teaming up with Tanahashi and winning matches so AFAIK he was established. Will investigate for next episode but the important thing is his music.
Yoshi hails from Tokyo, Japan and has the Denial Mullet Super Haircut. Shelton isn’t impressed and gets the mic to tell Yoshi AH SO AH SO, GET BACK OR I CALL GODZILLA and half the crowd laughs it’s arse off. I can’t believe Trump takes over Raw and then next week casual racism makes the hot tag. After busting out the crane pose and the Sumo shiko
and the flapping dicky Shelton gives him a condescending bow and Yoshi kicks him in his racist head to win.
Winner: Yoshi Tatsu (Shelton did his best to be a dick but it didn’t help the majority of the crowd was ENJOYING his antics rather than booing it.)
Abraham Washington makes his debut and I’d forgotten about him. He tries to do the talk show host opening monologue (“Wow that Three Stages Of Hell Match…I haven’t seen that much brutality since Paris Hilton in a spelling bee!”) and the crowd WHATs everything. This is a tough crowd to try out new material. Nikki & Brie Bella show up to be interviewed and they’ve been drafted to ECW full-time, the poor fucks. Washington tells them both to relax, he’s not OJ Simpson. Only Striker reacts to that line so he probably wrote it. Abraham tries to insult them both but the crowd is only interested in cheering the Bellas and it’s appropriate this review comes two days after John Alan Schwartz’s passing because even a distracted train driver couldn’t kill this segment more brutally. Some stuff happens and it ends. R. Budd Dwyer had a more dignified TV debut.
Sheamus vs. Oliver John
Sheamus’ debut and this ECW run would work-out for him. And by “work-out” I mean “next to HHH.” He speaks Gaelic (or is it just called Irish? I hear mixed things. Anyway it’s not English) as he’s an evil Irish foreign heel, here to claim WWE as his own. John is a California guy who worked local indies for years after this but there’s no snide reference to John Oliver as Striker’s too busy saying Gaelic is Josh’s favourite language. Sheamus works powerhouse and finishes with the backbreaker. Complete squash but the crowd were OOOOing and AAAAHHing for his Brogue Kicks so that’s positive.
Also: I’d forgotten about Sheamus’ original LOBSTER HEAD theme.
Tyler Reks makes his first appearance introducing himself backstage to Zack Ryder and they’re going to fight on Superstars this Thursday to decide if California or Long Island has the best beaches. I can’t believe this guy made it to PPV.
RAW REBOUND: The Guest Raw GM Era’s first host is…Batista. Oh. He makes Orton go through a Three Man Gauntlet and has a tough struggle with just-moved Evan Bourne but RKOs him off the top rope to win. Jack Swagger also making his Raw brand debut but shows respect to Orton and lets himself get counted out (something which went absolutely no-where as Swagger’s Raw career got re-written more times than the script to F4ntastic Four. Orton’s final opponent is the brand-new Mark Henry who fakes a count out and kills Orton with the World’s Strongest Slam.
We didn’t get an official graphic or announcement that three big ECW guys have left so it’s nice of them to leave a sticky note on the fridge. Bourne could have easily had a main event push and title run on this brand and probably would have been better as a big fish in a small pond than flopping aimlessly between “about to be pushed” to “about to be fired.” Swagger’s Raw & later Smackdown runs couldn’t have fucked his long-term career up harder if they tried which I typed up about here if you’re interested. Henry would do OK.
Christian & Tommy Dreamer vs. William Regal & First-Name Kozlov
Christian and Regal start off, allowing Striker to show off his Regal knowledge. He used to call himself Stephen Regal until he found out he was a descendant of William The Conqueror, you know? Regal doesn’t get far so he tags in “The Man Whose Favourite Drink is The Molotov Cocktail” who plays around with Christian until he’s able to tag in Dreamer who uses the power of default CAW moves to stun the red menace. Christian tags back in and tries a dive to the outside but Regal gets in the way and dares him to dive on him and we go to adverts as not even the production team wants annoyed Regal.
When we come back, Dreamer’s getting worn out like his I Love This Business promos in Impact. This is Regal’s comeback push after failing the wellness policy during the biggest one of his career earlier this year. Christian gets the hot tag and makes the comeback sequence with a missile dropkick and sunset flip for two. Kozlov tags back in and Christian can’t do fuck against the star of The Wire. Even with the crowd cheering him on, Kozlov simply knees him down and carries on and on. Christian takes quite a stretch out there and the crowd stops chanting for him and instead serenades the match with REGAL SUCKS chants. Dreamer finally gets another tag and again is able to stop Kozlov with ease. Regal dumps Christian into the ring steps and the finish gets a little messy with Regal almost dead-lifting Dreamer into an exploder suplex, Kozlov tagging himself in and ending the match with the Iron Curtain.
Winners: Regal & Kozlov (Standard match with some fine work from Regal & Kozlov.)
Despite stealing his win, Regal congratulates Kozlov and they don’t come to blows despite Regal giving him dirties.
Overall: Given how dull the brand had become, this shake-up couldn’t have come at a better time. This crowd wasn’t receptive to everything but even the best fans in the world aren’t going to be giving a C-show filled with newcomers loud reactions but the important thing is I’m looking forward to the next shows for the first time in a while.
Despite all the newcomers, highlight was easily Batista’s Buster Bluth thumbs down.
I’ve been Maffew, love you all.