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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 6/2: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Christian vs. Kidd

Jun 2, 2009 - 10:05:18 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

WWE - ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
June 2, 2009 - Year 3, Week 52 (Week 156 overall)
Taped in Memphis, Tenn.


After the WWE and ECW intros aired, Josh Mathews and Matt Striker introduced the show with Mathews telling us we will always remember the time in our lives when WWE goes Extreme Rules on Sunday. Um...okay. Interesting hype.

In-ring: Evan Bourne came out to start the show. Excitement quelled by, yes, Mark Henry's theme music. Re-match from last week's slow-it-down match. Striker reminded us that Henry lost to Bourne last week and he wants another piece of Bourne.

1 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. MARK HENRY (w/Tony Atlas)

Striker incorporated a "Finding Nemo" reference into the opening sequence, saying Bourne shouldn't stray too far away from his safety zone when trying not to be eaten by Henry. Henry grounded Bourne, then bent Bourne's back against the ringpost to stretch him out. Henry continued the Big Show formula match of landing a move, walking around, then landing another move. Henry then wanted a big splash off the ropes, but Bourne rolled out of the way just in time. Bourne came back with kick strikes before landing a double-foot dropkick for an ill-advised pin attempt that Henry escaped by bench-pressing Bourne across the ring.

Henry then overhead tossed Bourne over the top rope to the floor. Ref told Henry not to follow on the outside, meanwhile, Atlas tried to interfere. Ref turned around and saw Atlas grabbing Bourne, so he called for a DQ, giving Bourne the win. Afterward, Henry was dumped to the floor and then he chewed out Atlas for always screwing things up. Atlas simply hung his head in shame to take the verbal beating.

WINNER: Bourne via DQ in 5:00. Bourne picks up a second straight win over Henry without really winning. Slow-paced match that briefly showcased Bourne. WWE just doesn't know what to do with him long-term right now. As a result, they're going back to teasing the Henry-Atlas break up that started seemingly forever ago. (1/2*)

Up later: ECW champ Christian vs. Tyson Kidd.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Zack Ryder came out to a library-like reaction. He has that Rob Conway issue of having a "cocky" theme song with a lot of talking that doesn't generate a reaction. Already in the ring was Dustin Carwile. They aired a pre-match insert promo from Ryder, who said he's more than just the Woo Woo Woo guy. He's here to make an...impact.

[Q2]

2 -- ZACK RYDER vs. DUSTIN CARWILE

Announcers as quiet as the crowd to start. Ryder adjusted his hair, then nailed a missile dropkick off the top rope. He followed with a reverse Fameasser (the back of Carwile's head snapping off Ryder's shin as Ryder falls backwards). Ryder with the pin for the win.

WINNER: Ryder in 2:00. Just a match. Ryder is narcissistic, likes his hair, and does Woo Woo Woo. Announcers simply didn't have any talking points to do anything with this to enhance Ryder's character. (n/a)

Backstage: Gregory Helms brought in Finlay, who was sporting a nasty-looking shiner. He asked Finlay when he will officially return to action. Finlay said he has an old expression for Jack Swagger: tooth for a tooth and...eye for an eye. Camera zoomed in tight on the eye.

In-ring: Tommy Dreamer came out to the ring. Could be his final appearance on ECW TV if he doesn't win the ECW Title on Sunday. Think that deserved a little extra hype? Naw. Cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Paul Burchill came to the ring with Katie Lea as the opposition. Katie spoke on the way to the ring, saying it's Dreamer's privilege to face Burchill in his very last match on ECW. Katie told Dreamer to "dream on, Dreamer" because he's not beating big brother, Paul Burchill.

3 -- TOMMY DREAMER vs. PAUL BURCHILL (w/Katie Lea)

Katie with a slight distraction early on allowing Burchill to take control with a mat hold. Mathews tried to create dialogue about BurchLea being from Chelsea, England, but Striker just balked at the topic choice and they moved back to calling the match. It's like Mathews and Striker are on a blind date each week where one tries to start a topic, but the other roadblocks it, then they pause for a while trying to think of what to talk about next. Anyways, Burchill took Dreamer to the corner and stomped him down with boots to the chest. Dreamer then reversed a whip and nailed a Russian legsweep. Dreamer with a running bulldog for a two count, then Dreamer nailed a reverse DDT. He made a cover, but Burchill's hand was underneath the ropes.

Burchill came back with a fallaway slam for a two count. He stalked Dreamer for a corner splash, but ate the corner turnbuckle instead. Dreamer followed right up with the Dreamer DDT for the pin and the win. Afterward, Dreamer sold a ton of enthusiasm for potentially his final ECW TV match. Dreamer soaked it all in before pointing to the crowd to thank them for their support.

WINNER: Dreamer in 6:00. Another slow-paced match, but the crowd warmed up a little near the end. Burchill was good in his role, but he's still just a mid-card brute without any sense of purpose on ECW TV. Couldn't even tell you the last time he won a match. (*)

-- Randy Savage DVD promo aired.

[Q3]

[Commercial Break]

Superstars on WGN promo: Chris Jericho feels disrespected. Dolph Ziggler is arrogant and obnoxious. Together they are stupendous. They're teaming together against Jeff Hardy and R-Truth.

In-ring: Tommy Dreamer was still in the ring. Well, here we go. Dreamer wanted to say thank you. It could have been his final match on ECW TV and he's going to try to make sure it doesn't go down like that on Sunday. Just in case, though, here's good-bye. ... Jack Swagger's music interrupted. Swagger came out on stage and sarcastically told everyone to look at Dreamer - the last ECW Original left over. Swagger said Dreamer being in the title match on Sunday is the final attempt to make Dreamer relevant. He said he's sick of Dreamer's Quest and this Sunday, he puts an end to it. Not only is he taking back the ECW Title, but he'll never again have to listen to Dreamer on his show.

Dreamer said that one day, he hopes Swagger truly understands it's not about his glory, but something that means so much to him that he put his career and life on the line this Sunday. He would never disrespect himself and stand in the ring and grasp for glory. Dreamer vowed to stand in the ring next week as ECW champion. Swagger shook his head no. Dreamer shook his head yes. Swagger flashed his big grin toward Dreamer saying he's not believing Dreamer for a second. That was the strong emphasis on Dreamer's Quest we were looking for.

Announcers: Mathews and Striker talked about this becoming very interesting going to Sunday. Segue to the hard sell for the Extreme Rules PPV with a break down of the card. PPV is brought to us by a band called Sick Puppies. Hm...sounds like Jerry Lawler's nickname for WWE's TV PG.

In-ring: Bret Hart's theme music hit and out came the Hart Dynasty to the Bret re-mix. Natalya led Tyson Kidd and D.H. Smith to the ring for Kidd's main event match-up against Christian.

[Commercial Break]

[Q4]

In-ring: Hart Dynasty prepared for Christian's theme music to hit. Out came ECW champion Christian for a warm-up match before the triple threat title match on Sunday. Striker forgot to carry the one or divide by the common denominator in his math equation on Christian's chances of retaining the ECW Title at the PPV, then he corrected himself.

4 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN vs. TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya and D.H. Smith) -- non-title match

Slow build with each man feeling the other out before Christian landed a leg whip off the ropes to send Kidd to the corner to recover. Kidd went to the mat with an armbar, but Christian slipped out and stood off against him. They grappled again and ended on the floor. Christian was momentarily distracted by the Harts, which allowed Kidd to shove Christian back-of-the-head-first into the ring steps. Cut to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Kidd was in control. He pulled out a move from Lance Storm's book with a rolling half-crab in center ring. Ref Chioda violently asked Christian if he wanted to give up, as if he was mad at Christian for even being in the hold. Christian didn't give up, but opted for a surprise small package roll-up for a two count. Kidd then went back to the mat and demanded Angry Ref ask Christian if he wanted to give it up. Christian didn't, then he made his comeback by shoving Kidd's throat into the bottom rope by standing on his neck. Christian then nailed a missile dropkick and made a cover for a two count. Crowd alive 59 minutes into the show. Christian teased the Killswitch, but Kidd blocked. Kidd then blocked a sunset flip attempt with a pin and scored a two count.

[Q5 -- over-run]

Kidd kicked Christian in the gut, then back, then wanted a running codebreaker, but Christian countered with a sit-out bomb for a two count. Christian flipped Kidd to the apron, then Kidd wanted a springboard move, but Christian mid-air countered with a powerslam for another nearfall. Christian with the pendulum kick, then he went up top, only to have Swagger came out on the ramp for a closer look. The distraction allowed Kidd to knock Christian off the top rope and nail a nice-looking guillotine leg drop. Cover only resulted in a two count, though. Swagger then approached the ring steps to loud screams of horror, but Tommy Dreamer ran to ringside to loud cheers and he knocked Swagger into Smith. Dreamer nailed a cannonball dive onto Smith and Swagger, but Kidd kicked Dreamer through the ropes. After the melee calmed down, Christian and Kidd regrouped for their finishing sequence with Christian nailing the Killswitch in center ring. Christian with the pin for the win.

WINNER: Christian in 16:00. Very nice second-half to the match after the two pros built a slow story to let the crowd warm up to the action. Swagger and Dreamer's involvement enhanced the match and completed the strong second-half of the show trying to sell Extreme Rules on the basis of the three-way ECW Title match. (***)

Post-match: Dreamer came into the ring clapping it up for Christian, who accepted his ECW Title belt and showed it off to the crowd. Christian and Dreamer finally came face-to-face and Christian held out the ECW Title belt for Dreamer to get a good look at it. They seemed to bury last week's disagreement with respect going to Sunday, but Dreamer spun Christian back into his grasp for a Dreamer DDT center ring. Crowd booed initially, then cheered slightly as Dreamer did his arms-extended E-C-W pose center ring. Dreamer in control going to Sunday.

Closing Thought: Strong second-half to the show starting with Dreamer's post-match promo and continuing to the main event and post-match Dreamer DDT. First-half of the show seemed like complete filler, then WWE flipped the switch in the second-half.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "ECW TV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on ECW TV, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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