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TV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 11/24: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of post-Survivor Series episode

Nov 24, 2009 - 10:05:42 PM
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WWE - ECW on SyFy TV Report
November 24, 2009 - Year 4, Week 25 (Week 181 overall)
Taped in Bridgeport, Conn.
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor


The WWE show started with Josh Mathews and Byron Saxton plugging former ECW champ Matt Hardy on the Abraham Washington Show. Probably a plug or two for Jeff Hardy's DVD coming up.

In-ring: Zack Ryder came out with Rosa Mendes for the opening match. Tony Chimel is handling the ring intros with Lauren Mayhew off payroll after a few months. Shelton Benjamin then came out to face Ryder once again. WWE sure is putting this match-up through the promotional machine until the audience regurgitates.

1 -- ZACK RYDER (w/Rosa Mendes) vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN

Josh Mathews said Shelton will be named the #1 contender to the ECW Title if he defeats Ryder tonight. Crowd was behind Shelton, who is benefting from being presented as a babyface for a few months now. Ryder tried to bail from the ring, but Shelton flung Ryder back into the ring to work over Rosa's beau. Rosa sold concern ringside with Ryder taking a beating throughout the opening minutes of this one. Shelton then knocked Ryder to the floor and Ryder checked his teeth cutting to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, we got a close look at Shelton's Koko B. Hair while he was chatting with Ryder in the clutches of a devastating mat hold. Mic was too close to Shelton, who told Ryder to pick him up, which led to Ryder picking up Shelton for a back drop. Ryder then went up top and nailed a big splash for a two count. He went back up top again and nailed another top rope Superfly splash, but Shelton kicked out again. Ryder then punched Shelton several times, but Shelton started to no sell and "get all sorts of fired up," according to Mathews. Shelton then fired off a German suplex for a two count.

[Q2] At 12:00, Ryder blocked a corner attack and wanted a leaping head scissors, but Shelton powerbombed Ryder across the ring into the top turnbuckle. After the buckle bomb, Shelton jumped in the air and nailed the Paydirt in center ring for the clean pin and the win. Afterward, Rosa could only pace around the ring in frustration. Meanwhile, Shelton is the new #1 contender. Post-match: ECW champ Christian came out on stage with the ECW Title belt over his shoulder. He posed a bit, then they just cut to a break.

WINNER: Shelton in 13:00. No word on when Shelton receives his title shot, but WWE booked a nice match here to build up Shelton for the upcoming title match. Shelton showed good fire with his comeback after absorbing the two top rope splashes to continue building up crowd interest in his revitalized character. Ryder, meanwhile, just needs to bide his time and continue to impress management and his peers backstage with is in-ring performance even when booked to lose. Patience. (**)

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Christian was in the ring already talking to Shelton back from break. Christian hyped TLC coming up in three weeks. Christian said there will be one tables, one ladders, one chairs, and one TLC match. And how does ECW fit into this? Christian said it's no secret the ECW Title has been overlooked the past few PPVs. He said he takes exception to that, but instead of complaining about it, he's going to do something about it. Christian said maybe Shelton and he shouldn't compete in just a regular title match, but ... in a ladder match at the TLC PPV. "You challenging me to a ladder match?" Shelton asked. "Have you lost your mind?" Christian said they would be in a highlight of every TLC video package. Christian said he needs someone to help him steal the show. Shelton said he would be glad to be his partner in crime. Crowd didn't really buy into that. There was like this "huh, what does that mean?" reaction with light applause. Too insider and got away from the purpose of a wrestling match - to win. Shelton threw out a throwaway line that he plans on being ECW champion in three weeks. Christian just smiled. JC: Christian carried himself like a star as the brand's champion, but this promo was too "TNA" moving away from the purpose of selling a competition in the ring and favoring the unspoken "performance art evaluation" aspect of the ladder match.

Backstage: William Regal addressed a heavily-oiled Ezekiel Jackson and Kozlov backstage. Regal said some people believe he's out of the ECW Title picture, but he begs to differ. He said they need to be prepared for everything when he faces Yoshi Tatsu tonight.

Raw plug for next week: How far will the new #1 contender Sheamus go in order to set himself up for gold against John Cena at TLC? Plus, Mini Me hosts. Wow, no plug for Little's People Court featuring DX. I thought that would have been WWE's selling point.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Some intense music hit and out came Vance "Lance Hoyt" Archer. His beard even looked more intense while the announcers said Archer grew up fighting "on the streets of Dallas." Whoever came up with that line hasn't spent much time in the Dallas Metroplex.

[Q3]

2 -- VANCE ARCHER vs. ALEX REYNOLDS

Reynolds was billed as the local favorite looking for an upset victory over the intense Archer, who has the power to read the thoughts of his opponent by looking into his eyes, according to Mathews. Sure he does. Archer methodically took apart Reynolds Wrap before delivering his impactful reverse DDT finisher for the decisive win. His music didn't hit initially to sell the intensity of his post-match stare to the hard camera. Apparently the music technicians were mesmerized by his intensity and paused before hitting his music. Yeah, that's it.

WIWINNER: Archer in 3:00. Squash. WWE likes to build up their big men to be threats to babyface champions, so you can see where this is heading in a few months if Christian is still champ. (n/a)

Abraham Washington plug: Matt Hardy and his 1700s-style coat will be on the show next, according to the graphic.

[Commercial Break]

Raw Rebound sponsored by John Cena's ringtone: Jesse Ventura changed things up with new folks getting new title shots. The graphic showing the "same old title contenders" included Punk, Hunter, Orton, and Michaels. How is Punk in that mix? Rebound then focused on the battle royal with McMahon on the voice-overs. He sounded so old in the early-going, which they couldn't enhance in the video package, but he sounded solid at the end declaring Sheamus's battle royal victory. Video then ended with Jesse Ventura favoring the heel, Sheamus, saying Cena does commercials and movies and fits the image of the company champion. They included clips of Cena's Gillette commercials and babyface good looks to accentuate the point. Finally, Sheamus knocked Cena's block off to make a statement.

Announcers: Mathews and Saxton were shown ringside talking Sheamus's WWE Title match opportunity at TLC in a tables match. They're already doing the hard sell for the PPV. Announcers plugged Christian vs. Shelton for the ECW Title in a ladder match, then a plug for DX vs. the Unified tag titles in a TLC match. By process of elimination, Smackdown will have a chair match.

Abraham Washington Show: After the drumroll, Tony Atlas was shown on stage introducing Washington. Abe came out and polled the audience on who went out to see this Twilight: New Moon movie. Kids and girls screamed, while deep-throats booed. Washington said he might be coming down with a case of twilight fever because everyone in the arena has a face that looks like a dog. Good emphasis and timing on "dog" to hit the point. Cue up Abe and Atlas asking the crowd if they want a Scooby snack. He then welcomed out his special guest, Mr. Matt Hardy.

[Q4] Hardy was in his jeans and black dress shirt look tonight. Abe said when he found out he was getting one of the Hardy Boys, he was so disappointed to find out it was Matt, not Jeff. Been a while for a Jeff Hardy reference on WWE TV other than the DVD plug last night. Washington then plugged Hardy's appearance on "Scare Tactics" next week right before ECW TV. Washington asked Matt if he's trying to scare the audience with his face. They rolled a clip from the show with Shockmaster busting through the door. It was Matt Hardy trying to scare some guy in an office.

Back at the set, Washington said he wasn't scared at all. Suddenly, Atlas snuck up behind Abe and scared him. Hardy had a good laugh as Abe told Atlas he needs to be worried about the unemployment line soon. Abe calmed things down on the set and asked Hardy what he's afraid of. Hardy said he's been having this terrible, reoccurring nightmare that he's on the Abraham Washington Show. He said he's just kidding. Hardy said when your last name is Hardy, you're not afraid of anything because fear is only a four-letter word. Abraham paused and said he's actually afraid of something...that they're all out of time. Roll music with Atlas laughing, then shaking hands with Hardy after Abe stormed off the set. Hardy and Atlas then did the big wind-up into the V1 signal to wrap the segment. JC: I have never liked a single edition of the Abraham Washington Show, but this worked for me. Perhaps it was Abe's improved timing delivering the (still lame) material that made this work. Or, they could have just caught me in the right mood.

Backstage: They showed Yoshi Tatsu walking down the hallway preparing for William Regal.

Jeff Hardy DVD plug: Going into the commercial, they rolled footage of the Jeff Hardy DVD coming out next Tuesday. Shannon Moore found his way back on WWE TV talking with friends and family about Jeff. They showed Jeff walking through the rubble of his former house as part of the "fall" portion of the Rise & Fall of Jeff Hardy theme.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Yoshi Tatsu came to the ring for the main event. He's back to sporting the emerald green NOAH trunks with a Japanese flag on his hip. A bit of a quiet crowd response after a brief absence for Yoshi. William Regal then came out with Kozlov and Jackson to face Yoshi.

3 -- WILLIAM REGAL (w/Ezekiel Jackson and Kozlov) vs. YOSHI TATSU

Even exchange to start before Regal started blasting Yoshi with knee strikes. He went to work on Yoshi's face trying to rearrange his nose and perhaps his orbital bone, then went to work on the back of the head trying to concuss Yoshi with elbow strikes. Yoshi suddenly came right back with a kick strike and scored the pin for the win. Wha?

WINNER: Yoshi in 3:00. Finish came out of nowhere, which was a good thing to tell audiences a finish can come at any time. WWE has to use the "out of nowhere finish" consistently, though, for it to be even mildly effective to train audiences to pay attention to the first few minutes of a mid-card-level match. (n/a)

[Q5 -- over-run]

Post-match: Regal and Kozlov entered the ring and just stared down at their fallen mentor, who staggered to his feet. Jackson shot him this look of "what was that?" Regal recovered and stared back at Jackson before pointing his finger at Kozlov, who tried to act. I don't even know what he was trying to convey. More tension as the announcers let it breath. The crowd wanted Kozlov and Jackson to blast Regal. Kozlov suddenly pointed his finger to the audience, then realized he missed Jackson's face and re-pointed at him to pass blame. Oh, Kozlov. They could have edited that blunder out. Anyways, Jackson wasn't taking the blame for this one, so he grabbed Kozlov and gave him a uranage. Audience went silent not sure how to react. Regal and Jackson then re-built tension with Jackson's face starting to twitch. He then dropped Regal with a uranage. Crowd popped for that. Jackson stomped out of the ring after being unjustly accused of Regal's loss, then Regal and Kozlov were shown recovering in the ring to close the show. Um, that came completely out of left field after Kozlov and Jackson were off TV for a few weeks. Kozlov's acting still isn't there. Not even close. Meanwhile, Jackson is apparently the new lumbering babyface on the roster to replace Batista, who turned heel. It appears WWE is going to find out if Jackson can do anything in the ring by working with Regal. "If he can't work with Regal, then he can't work with anyone."

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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