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For what may be the last-ever episode of ECW, RDLee has been called away on international diamond-smuggling business, leaving me to take control of this luxury liner. Have no fear! RDLee may = ratings, but Jana is made of WIN! If there is to be no further existence of ECW, let's see how they end this thing.
To the "Abraham Washington Show!" Oh, must we? Ok. Washington points out that it has been several weeks since we have seen or heard from him, and that the rumors are true. NBC has been trying desperately to bring him over to replace Conan O'Brien, rather than rely on "Jay long-chin Leno." That's right, he said it! Do we know why he didn't take that $40 million-a-year job? Tony Atlas says, "Because you're not that good?" BURN! The first legit laughs that this show has ever gotten. No, no, no, says Washington. It's all the fans of the WWE Universe. He wouldn't leave us. Oh. Ok. Washington welcomes the ECW champion, Christian! Captain Charisma will save us now! Washington points out that Christian has held his title longer than any current champion, male or female, in the entire WWE. Christian didn't know that, but finds it a cool stat to have. Zack Ryder interrupts, his woman in tow, and announces that, as he is a man of principle, he has to inform everyone that the real news of the week (that no one else will mention because they are too afraid) is this! He points at th eTitanTron, which shows a mugshot-style photo of Gregory Helms. "Oh, snap!" I sort of agree with Washington on that. Ryder asks how Christian, as champion of ECW, feels about Helms disgracing the company, the champion, and the business with his heinous actions. Christian says that Helms made a mistake. We all make mistakes. ECW's General Manager Tiffany made a mistake by giving Abraham Washington his own talk show. Christian made a mistake by agreeing to be on said show. Ryder himself made a mistake by waking up, looking in the mirror, and deciding that his hair looked cool that way. Ryder's biggest mistake of all, however, was hooking up with "Tila Tequila over there." Ryder takes issue with this last one, and gets in the champ's face. Ryder pie-faces Christian. Christian shoves Ryder over the table. Washington and Atlas separate the two, and abruptly end the show.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Vance Archer: These two have a bit of a feud going, Archer even jumping Benjamin from behind during an interview last week. Is it just me, or does Vance Archer's persona seem like a rip-off of Mike Knox's character? A little bit? Archer takes the early advantage by raining clubbing punches on Benjamin's back, but Benjamin drives Archer into the corner and uses his superior athleticism to take control. Archer rolls to the outside. Benjamin hits a beautiful dive over the top rope to take out Archer, and follows up with punches of his own. Shelton rolls Archer back into the ring, but Archer kicks him in the gut as Shelton enters. More power versus athleticism, until Shelton leaps from the ring apron to the barricade in an attempt to land on Archer. Archer dodges, and Shelton eats barricade. During the commercial break, Archer throws Benjamin head-first into the steps. Back in the ring, Archer works the arm and dominates Benjamin. More working the arm and twisting the neck from Archer. Benjamin fights back, but gets planted with a slam. Archer only scores a two-count. SHelton fights out of an armbar with kicks to Archer's head. Archer misses a running knee strike in the corner, and Benjamin sweeps the knee from behind. Benjamin dominates and attacks Archer's knee, but then leaps into the coirner, where he is met with an elbow to the face from Archer. Archer rolls up Benjamin and goes for a pin by sitting on his chest, but the referee sees that Benjamin's shoulders aren't on th emat and breaks up the pin. Archer gets his feet on the ropes and pins Benjamin for the win.
Winner: Vance Archer
RAW Rebound: The Bret/Vince confrontation. I really liked this the first time. Bret was actually pretty good on the mic here.
Yoshi Tatsu (w/ Goldust) vs. Trent Barretta (w/ Caylen Croft): Barretta and Croft aren't doing anything for me yet, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Lots of fast-paced action here, rather back-and-forth. Yoshi lands a drop kick on Barretta. Nice moment where Berretta dodges Yoshi's super-fast spinning heel kick, and much is made by the announcers of the scouting that Barretta and Croft have done. Punches, kicks, a slap to the mouth, and a knee to the face by Barretta. A dropkick and a sleeper-ish hold by Barretta. Barretta totally dominates for a bit. Yoshi eventually fights back and drives him into a corner. A back body drop, a trio of stiff kicks, and running double knees to the face by Yoshi. Yoshi kicks Barretta in the chest, but only gets a two-count. Yoshi goes to the top rope, but Barretta follows him and tries to bring him down. Yoshi shoves Barretta off. Barretta runs up the ropes and takes Yoshi to the mat with the sloppiest Hurricanrana this side of Amazing Red. Yoshi rolls through, but Barretta counters and pins him for a two-count. While Barretta argues with the referee, Yoshi kicks him in the face and pins him for the three-count. For the record, I would like Yoshi a lot more if he weren't this absurdly happy children's character with Super Mario music. I want to see another "Japanese Buzzsaw." Is that so wrong?
Winner: Yoshi Tatsu
To the entrance ramp! It's Vince McMahon. He's here to speak on the future of ECW. He says that in three weeks' time, ECW will be goin goff the air. Lots of boos. He thanks all the technicians, producers, fans, and superstars who made ECW the success that it truly was. He thanks those same people in advance for making an equal success out of a new, never-before-seen program that will air at the same time as ECW has aired. It is the latest evolution of WWE, and of television history. Um, ok. He thanks us and leaves. This may be the shortest Vince segment ever.
To the ring! Gregory Helms introduces Ezekiel Jackson. Jackson an dWilliam Regal walk to the ring together. Watching Regal stride to the ring to Jackson's music is GOLD! Helms asks Jackson how he plans to get past the ECW title loss to Christian at the Royal Rumble. Regal pulls the mic toward himself and says, "It's been a very trying week for you, hasn't it?" Poor Hurricane! Helms response that it has. Regal says that it's about to get worse. Jackson and Regal commence to beating the everloving hell out of Helms. He gets rather brutalized until Christian makes the save, armed with a kendo stick. Christian causes both Jackson an dRegal to bail, and stops Helms from chasing after them. Acknowledging something like this is one thing, but if WWE feels that the internet fans who know about these sorts of things are a tiny percentage of their audience and don't matter, then why make repeated references to something about which most of your audience knows nothing? I'm just sayin'.
Christian vs. Zack Ryder: This seems to be an ECW championship title match. Lock up, and pretty even back-and-forth action to start. Each man gets a one-count on the other before Ryder slides between the ropes and begs off. He enters the ring again and takes control of the match, pounding on Christian and adding some kicks for good measure. It's all Ryder until Christian connects with a spinning heel kick. Christian rushes Ryder, but takes a headbutt to the gut. Christian slides under Ryder's legs and yanks him face-first onto the ring apron. A dropkick through the ropes sends a recovering Ryder to the floor. Christian rolls Ryder back into the ring and goes to the top rope. Christian leaps off, but Ryder catches his legs and catapults him into the bottom rope. Ryder dominates again, grounding Christian with a sleeper hold. Christian fights back and gets to his feet, throwing punches. Ryder hits a Rough Ryder leg lariat and makes the cover. Christian kicks out at 2 1/2. Ezekiel Jackson rushes the ring and attacks Christian. William Regal helps Jackson throw Christian into the steps, and the two stand over him as the show ends.
Winner (by DQ and STILL ECW Champion): Christian
In the role of RDLee, this has been Jana Bulloch. Join me on Thursday night for my "Impact" Impressions, and RDLee will be back in his regularly scheduled program next week.