The first ECW after Summer Slam concludes and like always, it's time to figure out what worked and what didn't.
The show opens up with a tremendous six man tag. John Morrison, The Miz, and Chavo Guerrero versus Even Bourne, Super Crazy, and Tommy Dreamer. Let me start off by saying that it is always good to see Super Crazy on TV. He's always very entertaining to watch and this match was no exception. Everyone was on tonight. Great storytelling and good back and forth action. No one side took an advantage for too long. This is always good because it keeps the match fresh and makes everyone involved look strong. Surprisingly enough, this match earned one of the few legit "EC Dub" chants that this company has ever heard. After Super Crazy and Bourne go flying outside to hit their opponents, the fans just had to show their appreciation. They also gave this match a decent amount of time and everyone was showcased pretty well. It was a little disappointing to see Dreamer take the fall on his team but it would have been disappointing to see anyone of these men lay down. At least they had to quickly double team Dreamer to get him down.
The next segment sees the New Superstar initiative in effect as Ricky Ortiz faces off against Gavin Spears. The crowd was alive when Ortiz came out and there even was a section of fans who made their own rally towels for Ortiz. He's really getting over. His character is enjoyable to watch but he is still green in the ring. Putting him against Gavin Spears, who is also green, didn't make for a good match. They lost the audience pretty early on but were able to get them back for the end. There's really no way to fix this problem. As long as Ortiz keeps fighting new comers to the ring, the fans will continue to lose interest. They need to push this undefeated storyline to the next step and he needs to fight more established superstars.
We then see Finlay with Hornswoggle come to the ring to talk. Finlay really shouldn't be talking or involved in a kid friendly storyline. He's too good of a wrestler to waste on things like this. He should be fighting for the ECW title. Mike Knox comes out and they go into a brawl. It's a good thing that they fought because it makes sense for Finlay to want action. Hopefully this feud will allow Mike Knox to step up as a contender for the ECW title as opposed to being another person on the roster. Granted, he's not the best wrestler, but there aren't many wrestlers on ECW. Everyone should be fighting for that title.
They really shouldn't be using any air time on ECW to build up the Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho feud. They're both RAW guys and will never come to ECW. So they shouldn't be taking time away from ECW wrestlers, no matter what the story is.
The main event saw a Summer Slam rematch as Mark Henry Defends against Matt Hardy. They finally give us the match that they should have on pay per view. But for whatever reason, they gave it away on free television. This would have made sense had Hardy won the title because it would have really build the story but he didn't win. So it all seemed a little uneventful. I'm not taking anything away from the match. This was possibly one of the best matches ECW has had all summer. They finally showcased both of these men and showed the audience that ECW can deliver good matches. There was a small moment during the middle that everything slowed down, but they were able to recover and make the match interesting again. Henry did a good job making Hardy look good. He sold everyone of the moves properly and made Hardy look devastating. Strangely enough, Hardy worked a heel style match by working over the knee for so long but it made perfect sense in this story. The crowd was so into Hardy the entire match that it's really making me wonder why he hasn't won a world title yet. The ending was perfect. Tony Atlas gets involved after the Twist of Fate, so no one has kicked out of it just yet. Henry puts his knees up on the moonsault and gives Hardy the World's Strongest Slam. Hardy didn't lose any credibility over this and Henry comes off as an even bigger heel.
Overall, a decent show. I would have liked to see more wrestling and less talking, but that seems to be the formula for American wrestling right now. If it weren't for the opening match and the main event, this show would have been a bomb. My Rating: B-
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