TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S ECW TV REPORT 2/17: Christian continues to impress, Dreamer needs help from Ricky O, TAKA sighting
Feb 18, 2009 - 1:30:03 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor
WWE's ECW on Sci-Fi TV Report
February 17, 2009 - Year 3, Week 37 (Week 141 overall)
Taped in Tacoma, Wash.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
The show opened with a recap of last week's show when Christian returned to WWE and defeated ECW champion Jack Swagger in a non-title match to advance Swagger's losing streak.
ECW intro: D.J. Gabriel and Alicia Fox are still prominently displayed in the opening video package. No word on their whereabouts. Tonight: Finlay & Christian vs. Swagger & Mark Henry.
In-ring: We start with The Boogeyman, who crawled out on stage through the smoke. Out as the opposition was Paul Burchill, along with Katie Lea. Matt Striker with some info that Burchill ranted on some WWE Mobile folks, leading to his punishment of having to face Boogey.
1 -- THE BOOGEYMAN vs. PAUL BURCHILL (w/Katie Lea)
Boogeyman went looking for his bag of worms at 2:00 and Burchill rolled up Boogey from behind for the win. Burchill then celebrated on the ramp in a very awkward way. Boogey tried to corner Katie ringside, but she escaped harm and ran into big brother's arms.
WINNER: Burchill in 2:00. Just a going-nowhere match between two big men without a storyline to work with. Seriously, Burchill goes off on some Mobile dude and he's punished by being asked to do his job of wrestling another lug? Apparently that suffices as storyline progression on ECW these days. (1/2*)
Recap: Striker and Grisham recapped the ECW Title match on Sunday where Hornswoggle's presence proved detrimental to Finlay. Next week on ECW, Swagger defends the belt against Christian.
2 -- TOMMY DREAMER vs. World tag team champion JOHN MORRISON (w/World tag team champion The Miz)
Striker said Dreamer needs to stop looking for fan adulation and start beating people up. Dreamer knocked Morrison to the floor, then wanted a move from the ring apron, but Miz ran interference allowing Morrison to slam Dreamer hard to the floor. As I speculated last week, Striker referenced the battle of Universe blogs. He added the feud has spilled into the parking lot. At 2:00, ref Charles Robinson had enough of The Miz and gave him the boot. Dreamer and Miz battled up top, then Dreamer wanted a second rope move, but Morrison kicked him in the gut and hit the Moonlight Drive for the pin and the win. Striker said there's got to come a time when you call a spade a spade with Dreamer. Grisham said Dreamer's got to be questioning himself on whether it's time to walk away.
WINNER: Morrison in 4:00. Nice, albeit brief, TV match. I like the set-up to Dreamer deciding on fight or flight with four months until the ECW PPV in June. Plenty of time to set up the angle with the announcers doubting him after each loss.
Backstage: Hornswoggle grunted through a shadowboxing exercise with Finlay, then Christian interrupted to talk strategy ahead of their main event. Christian said he knows Hornswoggle is Finlay's son and all, but he wants to make sure he won't be a distraction in their tag match tonight. Finlay told him not to worry; just keep your end up.
Video package: Evan Bourne is returning to ECW. Paul London won't be watching, though.
3 -- TYSON KIDD (w/Natalya) vs. CADEN MATHEWS
T.J. Wilson (Kidd) came to the ring all-smiles, not intimidated by the choice in opponent tonight. Kidd showed off his flurry of kicks early on, then Caden landed an elbow smash beneath the chin. Kidd then hit a slingshot leg drop across the apron before hitting a springboard elbow drop in center ring for the decisive win.
WINNER: Kidd in 2:00. Good effort from Kidd, who isn't really defined as a heel or a babyface considering he debuted last week without introductory vignettes or any sense of build-up. He has that Jack Swagger deal going for him with an overbearing smile that has him an easy heel so far. (3/4*)
WrestleMania recap: They went back to WrestleMania 14 when the Attitude era officially began with DX, TAKA, Sable vs. Luna, Pete Rose taking a Tombstone from Kane, and the epic match of all epic matches with Steve Austin winning his first WWE Title over Shawn Michaels thanks to Mike Tyson.
Backstage: Tommy Dreamer was collecting himself, then Ricky O tossed him a Rally Towel to warm him up. Ortiz thanked Dreamer for welcoming him when he first came to ECW, so don't forget who you are. You are ECW, he said. "Rally up, bro!"
Announcers: Striker was very annoyed by this "Rally Up" business from Ortiz. Transition into recapping Steve Austin as the first 2009 Hall of Fame inductee, then re-announcing Dory and Terry Funk. They missed the boat on including some of their Japan work in the video package. Probably couldn't get the footage, but it's the next step in WWE conquering the global video library market.
In-ring: Mark Henry bounced to the ring flanked by Tony Atlas, then ECW champion Jack Swagger strutted out as Henry's partner.
In-ring: Christian came out first for the babyface tandem. Another very strong reaction for Christian, which should give Vince McMahon an idea of the superstar level Christian is capable of achieving if given the right program. Perhaps the Draft will produce a Christian vs. Jericho or Edge verbal and physical battle.
4 -- ECW champion JACK SWAGGER & MARK HENRY vs. FINLAY (w/Hornswoggle) & CHRISTIAN
Grisham said Christian entered "exclusive contract negotiations" with the ECW brand upon deciding to return to WWE and this was the only brand he wanted to be on. Nice storyline explanation to elevate the ECW brand. Striker talked up ECW GM Teddy Long, then transitioned into a political rant against Barack Obama. Stimulating. Christian scored a nearfall on Swagger at 3:00, then nailed a back kick. Suddenly, Finlay dropped down to the floor to avoid a tag, but he decided better of things and slapped hands with Christian for a tag.
Back from break, Swagger and Henry doubled up on Finlay. Beat down on Finlay went on for a while, then Christian finally accepted the hot tag at 12:00 to go after Swagger. Henry and Swagger accidentally knocked heads and Christian tried a roll up, but Swagger kicked out. Christian then ran into a belly-to-belly suplex, but he kicked out in time. Tony Atlas then ran interference against Christian, but Christian fought him off, fought Swagger off, and nailed a top rope headbutt. Henry broke up the pin, though, and Hornswoggle ran into the ring to bite Henry's leg. Ref didn't call for a DQ, though. Bodies everywhere, then Swagger tried the gutwrench bomb on Christian, but Christian slipped out into the Unprettier for the pin and the win. Striker said it's the Killswitch now. Post-match, Finlay extended a hand to Christian to set up Christian vs. Swagger for the ECW Title on next week's show.
WINNERS: Christian & Finlay in 14:00. Sluggish middle, then a very nice finish. Christian looks very refreshed two weeks into his WWE return. It would be too soon for Christian to win the ECW Title on next week's show, as I'd like to see him and Swagger carry their mini-feud to WrestleMania unless Christian is plugged into Money in the Bank. (*1/2)
We welcome your 0-10 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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