TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 1/22: Ongoing coverage of Sci-Fi HD debut show
Jan 22, 2008 - 10:11:59 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
ECW TV Report
January 22, 2008 in Charlottesville, Va.
Year 2, Week 33 (Week 85 overall) on Sci-Fi
They opened with a snazzy new video package for the ECW intro. Really sharp graphics, even if you're watching in regular definition. They showed a video package from last week's show where Chavo Guerrero became #1 contender against C.M. Punk with Edge's help.
They're opening with a mini-Rumble. Kane with the first wrestler intro in ECW HD. The Miz, John Morrison, new Rumble qualifier Tommy Dreamer, and Shelton Benjamin rounded out the field. Kane's intro video is even better than was described on WWE's website. The flames appear to be flying off the video board.
1 -- MINI-ROYAL RUMBLE
Dreamer, with his "I'm a jobber" official Rumble t-shirt, tried to eliminate Kane, but Kane easily tossed him out. The heels then ganged up on Kane in the corner. Kane sat up to a strong reaction, then he tried to toss out Shelton, but Shelton skinned the cat to avoid elimination. Kane then chucked the tag champs over the top rope in succession. Suddenly, Shelton wrapped his legs around Kane's head and flipped him over the top rope to the floor. Kane was stunned. Excellent move from Shelton. Afterward, Shelton took the mic and said tonight was the first step. The rumble is the next step on the way to the motherload of WrestleMania. There ain't no stopping him, in case you haven't heard.
WINNER: Shelton Benjamin in 4:00. Fine opener to show off the graphics and get over the Rumble match for the PPV. Shelton's move to win was quite impressive. (*)
They showed Kelly Kelly walking backstage in a red bath robe. Styles gushed about Kelly in HD.
The Coach is hosting the best-body contest tonight. Styles wanted to know whose palm Coach greased to host the contest. Layla came out first. Lena came next to little reaction. Tazz said the word in the locker room is that Lena hasn't made too many friends in ECW since coming over to the show. Kelly Kelly then came out to a strong reaction. Coach asked for music, but didn't say who should go first. Instead, he got caught trying to cut a rug in the background. Everyone with a good laugh, then he frantically told Layla to go first. Layla, who might be auditioning for a Paul Mitchell commercial, did her NBA power dance. Lena got no reaction. Kelly got the usual strong reaction. Coach surveyed the crowd to show Kelly as the obvious winner. Her music hit before Coach could make it official. Kelly then celebrated in the ring before the heel divas threw her down to the mat and stormed off from the ring.
They cut backstage to show C.M. Punk taping up ahead of his ECW Title defense against Chavo Guerrero. Styles said Edge is in the house.
Time for Kofi Kingston's debut. Styles said he's the first Jamaican wrestler in WWE history. Kofi's music hit and the fans weren't sure how to react to him. He came out with a big smile and he shook hands with folks on the way to the ring, so he made it clear he's playing babyface. David Owens was in the ring as the opposition.
2 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. DAVID OWENS
Kofi did sort of a martial arts stance before locking up. His outfit is all yellow with yellow knee pads on top of his yellow kick pads. Kofi went for a monkey flip out of the corner, but there was a miscommunication on the spot. Crowd isn't sold yet. Owens wasn't sure how to enhance Kofi's moves here. Kofi landed some obviously-worked moves before nailing a leaping knee strike that grazed Owens for the win.
WINNER: Kingston in 2:00. A lot of rough edges to smooth out. It was as if he was trying to get in as many spots by himself on a trampoline, and the opponent just happened to be in the ring like a tackling dummy. Crowds aren't going to buy the offense unless it looks smoother. (1/2*)
They cut backstage where Edge talked up Chavo ahead of his title match. Vickie Guerrero then wheeled herself in. Edge thought she was staying at the hotel. She then said the whole family is here tonight for Chavo's title match. Vickie said the family that sticks together, wins together.
They aired a video package on Royal Rumble stats and facts. Steve Austin owns the record for 36 total eliminations. Shawn Michaels owns record for 11 appearances. Kane holds record for most eliminations in one Rumble, with 11. Mick Foley's 3 split personalities made an appearance in one Rumble. Chyna is the only woman to compete in the Rumble. Unfortunately, Austin had her number. 62:12 is the record for longest time in the Rumble - Rey Mysterio in 2006. Warlord has shortest time with 0:02 courtesy of Hogan. Austin has 3 Rumble wins. #1 spot has produced more wins than #30. Just remember, since 1993, 73 percent of the Rumble winners have gone on to Mania to win the belt. Also remember, 90 percent of statistics are made up. Really nice video package for ECW to contribute in selling the Rumble PPV, since they don't have a singles match on the card.
Styles and Tazz broke down the Rumble PPV card. They did a voice-over on a video shot from Chavo's locker room where ECW GM Armando Estrada had joined the collusion...er...discussion with Chavo, Edge, and Vickie.
Tazz was in the ring out of the break with the great Colin Delaney. Tazz gave him props for still being here another week. Colin was all taped up and stiff as a board. Tazz had to assist him in turning his body to watch the video screen of all the beatings that Colin has taken. Classic Colin mannerisms. Afterward, Tazz had to turn him back to look into the hard camera. Tazz asked if his mom is watching this. He just shook his head in quiet despair. Tazz then said he hopes his mom isn't watching his match against... Great Khali. Colin couldn't even react. Greatness. Khali came out with his translator, Singh, who smiled the biggest smile in the world.
3 -- GREAT KHALI (w/Runjan Singh) vs. COLIN DELANEY
Colin remained frozen in fear, staring straight ahead at Khali's nipples. Khali let him get a feel for the nipples as he stared over Colin's head. Khali then gave him a chop to the head and the bell sounded. Colin didn't move. Khali then picked him up and landed a two-hand slam. He finished him off with the neck vice where it looked like Khali could have popped his head if he wanted to. The ref called for the bell out of mercy for Colin.
WINNER: Khali in 1:00. Well, it's getting to the point of taking Colin's program to the next stage of the program or ending it. I hope they continue it, because there's some sort of weird potential for Colin. (n/a)
They showed a video package recapping the end of last week's match where Edge interfered on Chavo's behalf for him to beat Punk.
They went back to the ring where World Hvt. champion Edge came out on stage. Without even trying, he does John Morrison's cocky heel gimmick five times better. Main event title match is next.
Edge joined Styles and Tazz on commentary. Edge didn't appreciate Styles's greeting. Tony Chimel stacked the deck even more against Punk by announcing the match is now a No DQ battle. Edge played dumb at commentary like he had nothing to do with that. Styles was dumbfounded, then sarcastically asked Edge how that could have happened. Edge said it must be a very strange coincidence. Chavo came out first for the title match and Edge clapped it up for Chavo. C.M. Punk came out next. Oh, he has the girls screaming for him.
4 -- ECW World champion C.M. PUNK vs. CHAVO GUERRERO -- ECW Title match -- No DQ
The bell sounded and Punk went right after Chavo with knee strikes to the gut. He then shot Chavo off into the corner before nailing a slap to the chest. Punk quickly took advantage of the new rules by ripping off the turnbuckle pad, but Chavo caught him from behind. Chavo worked on Punk's back before nailing a European uppercut. Chavo tried to ram Punk into the exposed steel buckle, but Punk blocked and dumped Chavo to the floor. Punk then rammed Chavo into the guardrail with a suicide dive forearm smash. Edge looked concerned.
[Q5 -- over-run]
Punk nailed Chavo with forearm blows on the floor before sending him back-first into the steel ring steps. He went for a suplex onto the steps, but Chavo blocked and pancaked Punk into the top ring step. Chavo then focused his attack on the ribs back in the ring. Suddenly, Punk ran over Chavo in center ring with a clothesline. They both came to their feet and Punk nailed a running bulldog out of the corner. Punk missed with a top rope dive, then Chavo nailed the Three Amigos suplexes. Chavo pointed to the ceiling, then went up top where he feigned a frog splash and simply did a gymnastics tumble. Punk then smashed Chavo with a knee strike before hitting the Go 2 Sleep. Edge had moved from the broadcast position in the background, so Punk turned around and found a spear in center ring. Chavo was KO'ed, so it took him a while to crawl over to Punk and make the cover. The ref made a very reluctant three count, giving Chavo the win and the belt.
After the match, Edge's cronies wheeled Vickie down to ringside where everyone had a good celebration. Edge took Vickie into the ring where she very easily sat back down in her wheelchair. The Edge-Guerrero alliance had a big photo-op in center-ring while they replayed the finish of the match. One more photo-op to close the show.
WINNER: Chavo Guerrero in 7:00 to capture the ECW Title. The first WWE title change of 2008 is Chavo winning with a non-clean finish. I hope that's not a sign of things to come the rest of the year. In the very short-term, it's sad to see Punk's title reign end, as he wasn't given a fair chance to carry the brand. But, I think it will lead to a better overall storyline in the long-term, as Punk really needed something to light a fire under him, as a character, and fans who support him in the arenas. He needs a very strong promo next week that walks a fine line of not sounding like he's whining, but sounds like he's asking for fan support to help him rise up against the collusion of the Smackdown and ECW brands. Next week will make or break Punk's character on the ECW brand. (*1/2)
We welcome your 1-10 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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