WWECW Workrate Report: 7/14/09
1. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin
Well this makes two straight shows and two straight Shelton Benjamin performances I really liked. I watched very little ECW at the time (didn't have SyFy) so most of this I'm seeing years removed, but I still watched PPVs and Superstars and all that stuff and I didn't ever remember thinking "Hey Shelton is looking GOOD lately!" But damn if he hasn't been looking awesome in July '09 ECW. This was another trademark good Christian TV match with Shelton working over Christian's left arm in all sorts of cool ways, like hyperextending it over his knee and dropping knees on it while prone. Christian is a champ and sells it great throughout the whole match. Shelton is a real stand out here with his offense and overall viciousness that I've never seen him display at all. He hits a running knee lift here that looks just painful, and also finally utilizes his amateur wrestling that always gets talked about but never actually gets used in his matches. He had a couple cool takedowns and a rad Oklahoma roll that really felt like he could have shoot pinned Christian if he wanted to. His big leap to the buckles spot actually gets built to perfectly, with the first attempt failing and allowing Christian to transition back to offense, and the 2nd seeing him hit a great single arm DDT off the top on Christian's bum wing. Christian also is the only guy who knows how to take Shelton's goofy finisher, as Christian is always great at spiking himself on DDT-type moves. Color me a Shelton Benjamin fan. Who woulda thunk.
2. Paul Burchill vs. Yoshi Tatsu
I remember Burchill when he started as a pirate, when he wasn't very good and the only thing that people online hyped him for was his indyrageous Spanish Fly finisher. But somewhere along the way he apparently got really good and started wrestling like a Regal/Finlay hybrid. He drops a GREAT elbow, hits a mean senton and then starts choking and fish hooking Tatsu. Good lord. Yoshi blows a springboard spot and Burchill doesn't miss a beat by picking him up and planting him with a nasty Saito suplex. Ending is both disappointing and satisfying, with Yoshi reeling and hitting a flash head kick. The kick looked good and I like them pushing his kicks as lethal, but I wanted more than the 3.5 minutes they gave me. Bittersweet.
3. Goldust vs. Zack Ryder
Yessss. I'm been jonesin for some Dustin lately (one of the reasons I popped in some ECW discs) and he looks every bit as great as you would expect. The surprise is that Ryder looks pretty good, too. His stuff works much better as a heel than as a goofball face. He went over super clean and that's pretty lame, as if you thought Benjamin's finisher was silly then Ryder's is just ridiculous. It takes forever for him to set it up, holding his shin to the back of a guy's neck and then taking a back bump. It's like he saw an old Murdoch match and dug the Cattle Branding, and then thought "How can I take that concept, but make it look like absolute dogshit?" And man did he succeed. Rest of the match was cool with tons of great Dustin punches and a tremendous butt-butt. Way too short (barely over 4 minutes) but any Dustin on my TV is a very good thing.
4. Sheamus vs. Roman Cornell
This has to be pretty soon after Sheamus' debut as nobody seems to know who he is. Whoever Roman Cornell is/was, he looks better than Sheamus in this match. He threw some pretty nice punches and leaned way into the (not yet named) Brogue Kick. This was short and inoffensive.
5. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Tommy Dreamer
This will be a good test to see how good Kozlov got at this point. And you know? The match kinda works. Dreamer obviously tries and sometimes his stuff doesn't look good but he throws a bunch of shit at the wall. It's actually kind of funny how much different moves he busts out here, like a super chubby Rocky Romero. I like a lot of individual spots in this one though they don't totally add up to much. Great spot on the floor with Koslov dishing kicks at Dreamer, and then missing a high kick and nailing a ringpost. It made a real satisfying clang and Kozlov didn't hold back on it. It didn't really lead to anything, but in a vacuum it looked cool. Kozlov goes over nice and clean which was a shock as Dreamer was still champ and Christian won the #1 contender last week. Sets up a decent feud I suppose.