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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 1/13: Matt Hardy vs. Jack Swagger ECW Title match, Tommy Dreamer's retirement speech

Jan 13, 2009 - 9:59:19 PM
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by James Caldwell, Assistant editor

WWE's ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
January 13, 2009 - Year 3, Week 32 (Week 136 overall)
Taped in Sioux City, Iowa
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist


Tonight, Jack Swagger gets his chance at the ECW Title. In the arena, Todd Grisham and Matt Striker welcomed us to potentially the biggest ECW show ever.

In-ring: D.J. Gabriel and Alicia Fox were in the ring dancing to warm us up for a mixed tag match. Let me guess - another match against Burchill and Katie Lea. Yep, out they came.

1 -- PAUL BURCHILL & KATIE LEA vs. D.J. GABRIEL & ALICIA FOX

Women had a double head-to-head collision early on, then the men entered the ring to pick up the action. The action broke down, with the divas knocking each other out of the ring. Gabriel then smashed Burchill with the leaping European uppercut from the second rope for the pin and the win. Afterward, Gab and Fox danced to celebrate.

WINNERS: Gabriel & Fox in 3:00. Short match without much to write home about. (1/2*)

Hall of Fame announcement: They re-aired the Steve Austin announcement for the 2009 Hall of Fame in Houston. ... Up later: Swagger vs. Hardy.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Dressed in a suit, Tommy Dreamer was on the way to the ring for a little chat. Grisham asked Striker what's on Dreamer's mind. He said let's listen. Dreamer took the mic and quietly said there's a lot of buzz about tonight's ECW Title match and he wants to say his piece. He said he's been debating for a while what he's going to do tonight. Dreamer said it's tough for him to express his emotions after stepping inside the ring for 19 years. He went the choke-back-tears route talking about how much those three "E-C-W" letters mean to him. Waiting for the interruption...

Dreamer said he wouldn't change a thing about his journey. The "E-C-W" chant came up as Dreamer talked about needing a time of reflection in their lives. He said he doesn't think he's the same man he used to be. Dreamer said the competition is younger, stronger, and faster. And he doesn't feel he has what it takes to compete in ECW anymore. His WWE contract expires June 6. That gives him about five months to prove to everyone that he can still compete here. And the only way he can do that is if he becomes ECW champion before his contract expires.

Dreamer said he's been training harder than ever to achieve that goal because if he doesn't, then he's leaving ECW. He said this is the hardest decision of his life, but he needs to be able to look in the mirror with pride and respect. This is the only way to do this, he said. Dreamer thanked the fans, then left. The quest to ECW One Night Stand begins...

Video package: They focused on Jack Swagger with highlights of his action moves and a voice-over of Swagger saying he'll be the new champion.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Ricky Ortiz grabbed Tiffany's hand and pulled her in close. He wanted a kiss, but Hornswoggle interrupted banging something before mocking them going for a kiss. Finlay gave chase, then Tiffany turned back to Ortiz. Even without saying a word, Ortiz managed to be not great.

In-ring: Boogeyman came to the ring for another squash. His opponent was a bald-headed dude who was more Gillberg then Goldberg. Sammy SaBor?

2 -- THE BOOGEYMAN vs. SAMMY SABOR

Sammy landed a right hand blow on Boogeyman to annoy him, then Boogey tossed Sammy across the ring through the smoke hovering over the ring from his ring entrance. Boogey with a standing powerslam for the easy win. Striker scored major points with a Monty Python reference: "And now for something completely different." Boogey grabbed the worms and proceeded to shove them in young Samuel's mouth.

WINNER: Boogeyman in 1:00. Striker saved this one. I understand the art of building up a monster via the squash, but unless Boogey has developed a magical ability in the last year to work a competitive five-minute match, I don't see him being in a position to ascend to a main event level in ECW.

Smackdown Rebound: They focused on Jeff Hardy in the hit & run angle from Friday's show.

Backstage: Matt Hardy was brought in by Grisham to ask him how he's feeling with the Jeff Hardy distraction. Hardy said it won't affect him and he feels Swagger has earned his chance to compete for the ECW Title, but one thing he hasn't done is beat him. He said one thing he is that Swagger isn't is the ECW champion.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Jack Swagger came out first for the ECW Title match main event. Striker referenced Cael Sanderson picking up pointers from Swagger in his amateur days. Hardy then came out to a huge pop to defend the belt. Ref Scott Armstrong is the assigned ref tonight. Tony Chimel handled the formal ring intros with Swagger bouncing up and down in his corner before soaking up the boos. Hardy had a customary big round of cheers. Let's get it on.

3 -- ECW champion MATT HARDY vs. JACK SWAGGER -- ECW Title match

Only a few moments aired of the feeling-out process before an abrupt commercial break.

[Commercial Break]

They returned from break with Swagger locking Hardy in a side headlock. Striker said Percy Harvin of the Florida Gators is here and Marisa Tomei is here to find out how it really goes down. Hmm. The action moved to the floor where Swagger whipped Hardy into the ringpost to inflict damage on the left arm. Swagger scored a series of nearfalls before going to the final break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Swagger nailed a superplex and made a cover for a two count. Swagger went for a second superplex, but Hardy fired off a series of forearm smashes. He then nailed a sunset flip powerbomb after Swagger ripped off the top turnbuckle pad in mid-air trying to hold on to block the hold. Hardy scored a nearfall, but Swagger came right back with a belly-to-belly suplex for another nearfall. Hardy came back with a Russian legsweep (two count) and side effect (another two count).

Swagger suddenly rolled up Hardy and hooked the tights for a two count. Swagger yanked down on Hardy's left arm to cut him off, then Swagger went for a leaping Vader Bomb from the second turnbuckle for a two count. Swagger then followed right up with an arm bar that Hardy escaped. Hardy came back with the Scorpion death drop (Striker called it the slop drop) for a two count. They had a meeting of the minds in the corner at 15:00, then Hardy went up top, but Swagger threw him forehead-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Hardy was woozy and Swagger hit the gut wrench powerbomb finisher. He made a cover and scored a three count to win the ECW Title. Afterward, Swagger gloated to the fans about the victory to close the show.

WINNER: Swagger in 16:00 to capture the ECW Title. Excellent title match. Swagger has certainly earned his spot as the champion of a WWE brand. Now, it's a matter of seeing how he fares with the belt in hand. The upside for Swagger is enormous. (***)

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "ECW Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on ECW TV, click here.

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