THE SPECIALISTS 9/1 WWE ECW Hits & Misses: Abraham Washington Show, Benjamin vs. Ryder, Goldust vs. Shaemus
Sep 2, 2009 - 1:59:25 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, Torch Specialist
The Abraham Washington Show: I can't believe I'm giving this a Hit. WWE has tweaked the show from week to week with additions like the APPLAUSE or LAUGH signs on the big screen. They are clever, but the segment still sucks. This week's addition was Tony Atlas playing Ed McMahon as the new announcer. I have to admit to laughing each time Atlas laughed (or cackled) at one of Washington's jokes, or at everything that happened. It got more ridiculous as the interview turned serious with the appearance of Paul Burchill to get in Gregory Helms' face that Atlas would continue to laugh, but it kept making me laugh. I was also glad to see someone not named Christian or Tommy Dreamer as the guest. I'm still not a fan in general, but this week kept me entertained and set up another Burchill vs. Hurricane match for next week.
Michaels vs. Undertaker Replay: I did not watch the WrestleMania 25 replay last Saturday, so I had not seen this presentation before. When WWE announced on Raw that the match would be replayed, I had forgotten about the NBC special, so I wrongly assumed it would be a regular replay of the match. That didn't make much sense to me. As the show progressed, I was thinking about how they were going to have to cut out a lot of the match considering there was still the ECW main event to go. This presentation made more sense. It was fun to relive the great match. I have not gone back and re-watched it since I watched it live. I had forgotten about Undertaker's incredible facial reaction after Shawn Michaels kicked out of the Tombstone. That was an entire story told in one shot. My only complaint is that this seems more appropriate for Superstars than ECW. However, I guess I would rather have this than a Raw Rebound.
Goldust vs. Shaemus: This was a great way to culminate a mid-card feud; elevate the feud to main event status, and deliver a very good match. I have enjoyed this feud. Goldust seems reborn. Shaemus has shown his potential as a future star. This is a feud that has elevated both wrestlers. Each can now move on to something else meaningful considering Shaemus won, but Goldust is getting good reactions from the crowds. As for the match itself, they performed well. I couldn't believe Goldust threw a dropkick. I don't recall seeing Black Reign ever throwing a dropkick. The wrestlers were intense throughout. The match went back and forth and built well to the finishing sequence. The crowd bought into it. Plus, the right man won in the end.
Benjamin vs. Ryder: This feud has not been good. It started with Shelton Benjamin's face "turn" on the Abraham Washington Show when they had their singing contest which was horrible. Then they had a match the next week that Benjamin easily won in 3 minutes. They dropped the feud for a week and then picked it up again last week when Tiffany forced them to team together for absolutely no reason. Zack Ryder might be a firmly established heel, but WWE has done nothing to firmly establish Benjamin as a face. Their tension and confrontation during and after their tag match last week didn't help. This match was good while it lasted, but at 4 minutes was not much of an improvement over their previous short match. Also, Benjamin hit a few incredible looking moves that failed to get a rise out of the crowd. That should be a lesson to WWE that the fans want to get behind better defined babyfaces and not just pop for cool moves.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw, Smackdown, ECW, and Superstars each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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