TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 1/12: Complete coverage of ECW Homecoming battle royal finale
Jan 12, 2010 - 10:10:26 PM
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WWE - ECW on SyFy TV Report
January 12, 2010 - Year 4, Week 32 (Week 188 overall)
Taped in Green Bay, Wis.
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The WWE show started with a video package recapping the high points of the ECW Homecoming qualifying matches over the past four weeks for tonight's eight-man battle royal. Excellent video package creating a "big fight feel" right off the bat for tonight's show. Well done.
In-ring: The show started with some fast-paced Salsa music to bring out Rosa Mendes alone and without Zack Ryder. She danced and danced for a bit before introducing "the man who ended Tommy Dreamer's ECW career," Zack Ryder. They're getting good stretch out of the Dreamer retirement. Cue up the radio to bring out Ryder and his half-pants. Ryder dryly opened his promo about the big names in the back here for the ECW Homecoming, but he knows they're here to see him. Ryder said he's the one man above the ECW Championship because he is the heart & soul and he is ECW.
The Hurricane's theme music interrupted to bring out Hurricane to question Ryder's statement. Hurricane addressed "Citizen Woo Woo" that he's been sent here to tell him to please shaaat aaauhp. Hurricane said it takes more than one match to make Ryder the heart and soul of ECW. He called him the rear-end of ECW because that's what he's talking out of. "Bro, you gotta be kidding me," Ryder said. Rosa then cut a promo on Hurricane in Spanish. The camera even zoomed in tight like this was a Telenovela. Hurricane asked to press one para ingles, which got a mild laugh. Rosa responded with a slap, then Hurricane punched Ryder in the face and ran him over the top rope to the floor. Battle royal visual early on here. Rosa then checked on Ryder on the floor while Hurricane smiled back in the ring. JC: Looks like we have a new feud on our hands, although this didn't have much heat on it. Hurricane had some good one-liners and Rosa has some unique charisma that made this a decent eclectic mix of characters.
Battle Royal plug: the ECW Homecoming is coming up with Vance Archer, Yoshi Tatsu, Evan Bourne, C.M. Punk, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy, Kane, and Ezekiel Jackson in an eight-man battle royal.
1 -- THE HURRICANE vs. ZACK RYDER (w/Rosa Mendes)
Suddenly, back from break, there was a match in the ring with Hurricane against Ryder. Looked like that would be end of it for this week pre-commercial. Josh Mathews said ECW GM Tiffany booked a match between the two during the break. Anyways, Ryder was in control working over Hurricane as the announcers provided motive for this: Hurricane wants to rid ECW of the self-centered Ryder. Ryder hit the Rough Ryder leg lariat at 3:00, but Hurricane kicked out. Ryder finally got some heat arrogantly flashing the LI to the crowd, then he went back to work on Hurricane.
[Q2] The crowd eventually came to life as Hurricane teased a comeback before hitting a neckbreaker. Hurricane then hit a Hurri-Cut out of the corner before going up top, but Ryder cut him off with Rosa slapping the mat repeatedly to offer encouragement. Ryder then followed with the Zack Attack on Hurricane for the pin and the win. Afterward, Ryder and Rosa celebrated while Hurricane gritted his teeth in frustration.
WINNER: Ryder in 6:00. Okay match. Ryder dominated and picked up the win, which was a double whammy for Hurricane. WWE didn't even give Hurricane the benefit of Even-Steven booking where Ryder snuck out a win by the skin of his teeth. He was booked to pretty much dominate other than two or three signature moves from Hurricane. (*)
Backstage: C.M. Punk and Luke Gallows were shown backstage to address tonight's ECW Homecoming battle royal. Punk rubbed his ever-growing beard and said he's on a crusade to convert the poisoned masses to the straight-edge lifestyle. He said winning the ECW Title will allow him to mold the young wrestlers of the future from the ground up into his image and likeness. Punk virtually quoting from the Bible here. He plays the part so well of acting like a self-righteous villain twisting something or someone for his gain. Punk said he'll begin his movement tonight by winning the battle royal.
Raw plug: The Undertaker is on Raw to answer Shawn Michaels's challenge for a WrestleMania re-match. Also, Don Johnson and Jon Heder guest host.
Packers Hall of Fame: One night after the top babyface in the company was scripted to cut a promo on the Packers NFL team while in Vikings territory, they showed clips of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. It's why babyfaces shouldn't go the cheap heat route.
In-ring: Goldust came to the ring for a singles match. Trent Barreta then came out with Caylen Croft for a singles match-up against Goldust. Classic use of Goldust to work with a new, young wrestler.
2 -- GOLDUST vs. TRENT BARRETA (w/Caylen Croft)
Goldust was sporting some scary-looking black facepaint beyond his usual facepaint look. I'm having really bad flashbacks to TNA storylines with Rellik. Goldust started with an aggressive attack and dominated Barreta before taking him over the top rope to the floor. Barreta then suckered Goldust into a neck drop across the top rope to take control. Barreta followed with a running clothesline on the floor after a high-pitched tribal scream. Apparently his trademark is screaming like a girl. Back in the ring, Barreta took control on "the maverick, the non-conformist Goldust," according to Mathews. Goldust then made a comeback and wanted the Curtain Call, but Barreta slipped out and ran to the corner. Barreta followed with a big elbow smash out of the corner before hitting a running knee to the face with another high-pitched scream for the pin and the win. I can almost picture John Cena making fun of this guy on a regular basis six months from now.
WINNER: Barreta in 6:00. Another just okay match. The crowd is dead or at least sounds dead, so it's difficult to gauge how well the wrestlers connected with the crowd. Barreta has potential, but that high-pitched scream needs some work if that's going to be his trademark. Meanwhile, Goldust continues to be under-utilized unless this is a start of a program similar to Goldust vs. Sheamus that was one of the better ECW programs in 2009. (*)
Backstage: William Regal was with Ezekiel Jackson to talk about the ECW Homecoming. Regal said Ezekiel's name is Biblical and his potential damage is of Biblical proportions. Ezekiel quoted from the book of Ezekiel before the camera zoomed in tight on Ezekiel, who glared into the lens. ... Down the hallway: they showed Kane walking in anticipation of the "over-the-top-rope challenge" (because they won't call it a battle royal).
Raw Rebound: They went back to last night for Mike Tyson's teased dissension with Shawn Michaels before turning on Chris Jericho to help DX win the main event tag match.
In-ring: Savannah brought out ECW GM Tiffany to introduce the ECW Homecoming finale. My wife checked for an engagement ring, but no sign of a rock on her finger after her reported engagement to Drew McIntyre. Tiffany recapped the ECW Homecoming build-up the past four weeks before bringing out ECW champ Christian as the guest commentator for the main event. Christian placed the title belt on the table before shaking hands with Mathews and Byron Saxton. Christian said last time he was out here, he thought they asked him some stupid questions. He then pulled out a piece of paper to give them three standard questions to ask him.
In-ring: C.M. Punk was the first man out for the Homecoming battle royal. He basked in the glow of the boos before Yoshi Tatsu's dance music interrupted to bring out Yoshi. Off to break before the battle royal.
Smackdown plug: "After weeks of battling, there's still no #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship," said the voice-over man to promote Batista vs. Rey in the steel cage on Smackdown. That's about the best piece of marketing to explain a frustrating three weeks of non-finishes and assorted silliness with the #1 contender booking.
In-ring: Vance Archer nearly completed the ring intros for the eight men in the match. Before the bell even sounded, Shelton Benjamin jumped Archer and pounded away on him. Suddenly, Kane's pyro hit to bring out the eighth and final participant. Archer, Shelton, Kane, Yoshi, Hardy, Zeke, Bourne, and Punk in there.
3 -- ECW HOMECOMING BATTLE ROYAL
The bell sounded ten minutes before the top of the hour and everyone fed Kane, who was presented as the monster and favorite. And there went Bourne over the top rope 15 seconds in the match. That explains why they didn't want to focus on Bourne at all on this show so no one watching would notice the early elimination or be disappointed. Down to seven, the men in the ring began teasing eliminations in standard battle royal form. To fill time, Christian berated the announcers for not asking his prepared questions. Christian said he came to ECW with a chip on his shoulder to prove he's the very best. Yoshi and Punk worked in the corner for a bit and the audience came to life as Punk teased eliminating Yoshi, then Yoshi teased eliminating Punk. But, everyone was safe (except for Bourne) going to break.
Back from break, everyone was safe (except for Bourne). Punk was again teased for an elimination, then Archer ended up on the apron to be eliminated by Shelton, who also eliminated himself with a cross-body splash taking both of them out. Afterward, their brawl continued on the floor as the action continued in the ring with five men left. Christian said he feels Yoshi is the biggest threat to his spot right now, but he's not going to roll over and hand it to him.
[Q5 -- over-run]
Jackson caught Hardy over the top rope and tried to eliminate him, but Hardy held onto the top rope before Jackson smashed him off the ropes to the floor. So, we're down to Zeke, Yoshi, Punk, and Kane. They had a four-way stare down before Punk smashed Kane with a high knee, only to eat a clothesline from Jackson. Zeke then chucked Punk clear over the top rope for a big pop. Suddenly, Kane chucked Yoshi over the top rope out of the corner. And now we're down to Kane and Jackson. Kane turned his shoulder to smirk in Jackson's direction anticipating a big man match-up. Christian said it's safe to say it won't be an easy night come the Rumble.
Jackson screamed and shouted in Kane's direction, saying, "You got nothing!" They locked up and battled near the ropes with the fans chanting for Kane. Jackson teased a bodyslam elimination, but Kane held onto the top rope to block before landing an uppercut. Kane then repeated the spot of teasing an elimination of Zeke, but Zeke fought off. Kane then tried the chokeslam, but Jackson elbowed out. Kane then followed with a big boot that popped the crowd. Kane tried to follow with a top rope move and he missed with the clothesline. Jackson then clotheslined Kane over the top rope to the floor, which drew shrieks from the crowd, and there is your winner and new #1 contender.
Post-match: Jackson screamed in victory while Christian dropped his headset and stared up at Jackson from the announce table. And old friend, William Regal, entered the ring and patted Jackson on the shoulder before staring down at Christian. After the announcers recapped a video package on the highlights from the match, the show closed with Jackson & Regal staring at Christian, who held up his ECW Title while selling a bit of concern.
WINNER: Jackson in 15:00 to become #1 contender. Good, formula battle royal. WWE virtually gave away the finish on the house shows this weekend when Christian and Jackson worked three straight shows to warm up for their Royal Rumble one-on-one match, but this was good drama, especially with the final four. It was nice to see Yoshi get some strong focus despite losing the match. (**1/4)
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