10 Thoughts on ECW – 04.29.2008

Welcome to the first “10 Thoughts on ECW” — thanks to Daniels for the concept, which we are extending to ECW and, yes, even TNA beginning this week — and the first episode of WWE’s third brand that I’ve watched in full since the beginning of the Mike Adamle Experiment. I’ll be cross-posting this over at my forgotten ECW blog for gits & shiggles. Let’s go…

1) The Wrestling Observer Newsletter a week ago said that Kofi Kingston got called up to ECW due to a company-wide directive to add more African Americans to the roster (particularly with Cor Von, Booker, Lashley, Kristal and others no longer with the company), and he’s turned into one of my favorite parts of ECW. Not sure if it’s the song, the flashy style, the magic of WWE pushing him as undefeated, or a combination of the three, but I’m definitely a fan and can watch Kofi/Shelton every week.

2) Speaking of Shelton, you know what he needs? Yeah, a manager to talk for him. But I guess we’ve known that for quite some time, haven’t we? I hear Jonathan Coachman might need a role…

3) Two title matches on Smackdown eh? Colin Delaney again competes for a contract, and Knox vs. Dreamer in an Extreme Rules match next week on ECW? Those, along with an awesome-as-usual “Raw Rewind” video package = really solid promotion of the next three shows by WWE. Good stuff.

4) First Trevor Murdoch sings Garth Brooks, then Mike Adamle covers The Drifters? Really?

5) Ya know, I’ve always liked Mike Knox, and – assuming the drug issue from a few weeks ago is cleared up – hope his push continues. He has a unique look, does some smart little things (™ Haley) like the slap to Colin Delaney as he tended to Dreamer, and his stiff offense looks good, despite the rather generic finisher. (Seriously, don’t five or six WWE superstars use that spinning neckbreaker/roll-the-dice-like finishing move?)

6) The return of The Classroom… not a bad role for Striker with Viscera out, although like Coachman, I think he can better be used as a smarmy heel manager. “Begin the day with a friendly voice a companion unobtrusive.” Now they’re quoting Rush? Really?? That said, he threw in a nice jab at Adamle, used the word “uvula,” referenced Gore Vidal (twice?!) and… well, any excuse to give Mick Foley mic time is fine by me.

7) I always liked Sean O’Haire better, but Chuck’s been decent since coming back to WWE… yet, after an interesting program with Jamie Noble and Michelle McCool, what happened? He’s pretty much just a Jobber To The Stars I guess. That said, Punk needed the win and I saw this match more as a placeholder than the start of any big feud, so what do we get? The beginning of a completely random feud that does nothing for your Money in the Bank winner. It’s just the beginning, so I’ll hold judgment, but that’s my initial reaction.

8) Not that Tazz can’t call the show on his own — he pretty much seemed to be doing just that for most of the hour — but Adamle just up and leaving before the main event was quite… bizarre. And no, not as bizarre as Bam Neely wrestling in a suit. Wait, and now Tazz is leaving the announce table? Is King Regal screwing around again? Um… the match actually has an interesting dynamic with no announcers talking over the action. I wonder if TNA’s Tenay and West are watching.

9) So the Chavo/Kane feud continues… Ya know, I had no problem with Chavo as ECW Champion, figuring the brand would benefit from a more athletic, “cruiserweight/X division” style, but the feud with Kane did nothing for me.

10) Another WWE show, another odd ending. Really???

Looks like that’s it. Don’t forget to check out Blatt’s Live ECW Report and I’ll see you next week for the “historic” 100th episode of ECW!

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