TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 8/26: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of WWE's Sci-Fi show
Aug 26, 2008 - 11:37:01 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
August 26, 2008 - Year 3, Week 12 (Week 116 overall)
Taped in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
The show started with Teddy Long's leggy assistant, Tiffany, coming out on stage to introduce Long. Long talked up the Championship Scramble and said they can do better than Raw and Smackdown. He said Mark Henry will be putting the ECW Title on the line against four other wrestlers in a match where he can't even describe the rules. Check out .com, playa. Long said there will be four qualifying matches tonight to find out the challengers to Henry.
In-ring: Out first was Matt Hardy to a very strong reaction to start the show. John Morrison then came out as the opposition.
1 -- MATT HARDY vs. JOHN MORRISON -- ECW Championship Scramble qualifying match
Striker has already won me over with the opening commentary that Hardy has to adjust his style from wrestling a massive Mark Henry to the quicker John Morrison. Nice back and forth exchange early on, then Morrison blocked a Twist of Fate attempt and knocked Hardy off the apron to the floor.
Back from break, they teased finishers, then Morrison clubbed Hardy with aggressive and wild forearm smashes that took Hardy to the floor. Back in the ring, Morrison smashed Hardy in the face with a knee for a nearfall. Morrison then tried a roll up with his feet on the ropes, but the ref caught him in between two and three. Hardy took advantage with a roll-up attempt, but Morrison escaped. More great pinfall attempts with the announcers getting over the point of how important this match is to qualify for an ECW Title shot.
Morrison then came off the ropes with a springboard kick smash to the face, but Hardy kicked out to a strong reaction. Morrison then clubbed Hardy with forearm smashes, but Hardy shoved off and they had a mid-ring clothesline exchange that knocked out both men. They recovered to their feet and took it home with Morrison teasing the corkscrew neckbreaker, but Hardy slipped out into the Twist of Fate for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Hardy in 12:00 to qualify for the Scramble. Excellent TV match. They set a good tone for what's at stake tonight: qualifying for an ECW Title opportunity on PPV. Crowd being hot for Hardy helped the match out as well. (**3/4)
Backstage: Teddy and Tiffany talked about the great opening match. Tiffany said Hardy is one of her favorites. Mark Henry and Tony Atlas then barged into Teddy's office with Henry complaining about the odds being stacked against him. Teddy said life isn't fair, but this Championship Scramble is a new concept that's off the chain. He asked Henry if his title is going to be changing hands, then Henry stared at him and walked away.
Video package: They focused on John Cena suffering the neck injury at Summerslam after taking repeated Batista bombs from Batista. ... Back ringside, Grisham said that John Cena underwent emergency neck surgery and, according to the doctor, the surgery was a success. Grisham said the disc was pushed so far into his neck that it risked paralysis.
In-ring: The Miz came out, then Evan Bourne for another Championship Qualifier match.
2 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. THE MIZ -- ECW Championship Scramble qualifying match
Even exchange early on, then Miz dumped Bourne off the ring apron to the floor. Miz followed on the outside to attack Bourne and try to take away the aerial attack. Back in the ring, Miz slowed the pace to work over Bourne, but Bourne came back with a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Miz then landed a back elbow smash, but Bourne fired off a leaping knee smash before missing with a huracanrana and landing crotch-first on the top turnbuckle. Grisham: "Miz took Bourne to the capital of Thailand." I think he was waiting all night to say that. Miz then caught Bourne from behind with the Reality Check for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Miz in 8:00 to qualify for the Scramble. Ambitious match for two wrestlers of the similar style and an inexperienced heel working a singles match without Morrison by his side. You want Bourne in that title match to keep pushing him to the moon, but it's fine to hold him back a little to keep building him up on the mid-card before determining how far he can be pushed. (*1/2)
3 -- TOMMY DREAMER vs. CHAVO GUERRERO (w/Bam Neely) -- ECW Championship Scramble qualifying match
Dreamer landed a running bulldog out of the corner at 2:00, then he followed with a powerslam for a nearfall. Dreamer shot Chavo off to the corner, but Chavo landed a back elbow smash. Dreamer then crotched him in the corner and wanted the running basement dropkick out of the Tree of Woe. Bam then hopped on the top rope and Chavo bumped Dreamer into Bam, temporarily knocking out Dreamer. Chavo then slingshot Dreamer throat-first across the top rope before hopping up top for the frog splash for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Chavo in 4:00 to qualify for the Scramble. Short and to the point to get Chavo a win and continue using Dreamer in the enhancement talent role. (1/2*)
Ringside: Grisham and Striker sent it over to Josh Matthews in Denver at the Democratic National Convention. Matthews was joined by Candice Michelle and Batista to discuss things. Batista dryly said he just wanted to hang out with Candice. Oh, look at that, Rep. Robert Wexler from Florida shaking hands with Batista. You know WWE loves having that footage after Wexler was pushing for investigation of wrestling last year.
4 -- FINLAY (w/Hornswoggle) vs. MIKE KNOX -- ECW Championship Scramble qualifying match
In a disappointing twist to this program, Knox has dropped The Knox twirl coming out of the curtain on the way to the ring. Sadness. Striker with an early Obama reference, saying Knox has flip-flopped more than Obama on whether he wants to fight Finlay or not the past few weeks. The match moved to the outside and Knox missed with a left-arm clothesline and ate the ringpost. Striker said Knox has a Bruiser Brody-like stare. Just without the talent. And cut to break.
Back from break, Knox decided he needed a time-out to nurse his injured forearm. Knox slowly paced the ringside area, so Finlay hopped to the floor and walked right into Knox's lure to accept a powerslam on the padding. Nicely done by Knox. Back in the ring, Knox started his offensive attack to work over Finlay on the mat. Knox suddenly became distracted by Hornswoggle's presence ringside and tried to rip away his coat. Finlay would have none of that and he mounted his full comeback on Knox. Finlay and Hornswoggle then play the ole switcheroo with two shillelaghs and Knox ends up eating the second shillelagh while the ref is trying to get rid of the first one. Finlay then made the cover for the win after landing the shillelagh shot.
WINNER: Finlay in 12:00 to qualify for the Scramble. Slow match with the usual finish for Finlay to earn a victory. A bit below expectations after their strong brawl segment last week. This was more of a let's-have-a-TV-match kind of match rather than continuing a heated feud. Fine match for its purpose, though. (*3/4)
To recap: Mark Henry will defend the ECW Title against Matt Hardy, The Miz, Chavo Guerrero, and Finlay at Unforgiven.
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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